Two Former FARC Guerrillas Say They Were Trained by ETA Members

By Dialogo
February 10, 2011

Two former guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) affirmed on 8 February that they were trained in the use of explosives by members of the armed Basque separatist group ETA, the Spanish court that questioned them indicated.

The former FARC members, whose identities were not revealed, told Spanish judge Eloy Velasco over a video-conferencing link that members of ETA came “to the jungle” to train them over periods of several months at a time between 2002 and 2008.

They stated that they had been trained, in particular, in handling explosives and in the use of timers hidden in watches or cellular telephones, according to the National High Court, Spain’s chief criminal court.

In March, Judge Eloy Velasco issued twelve international arrest warrants against members of ETA and the FARC, on charges of having exchanged courses in handling weapons and explosives and having planned the assassination of prominent Colombians in Spain.

According to the judge, the two organizations had “Venezuelan government cooperation” for their contacts.

That accusation caused tensions between the Spanish government and the government of Venezuela, which categorically denied Judge Velasco’s accusations.