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110th Congress 
 2d Session                 COMMITTEE PRINT                     S. Prt.


                           PLAYING WITH FIRE:


                           REPORT TO MEMBERS

                                 OF THE


                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                       One Hundred Tenth Congress

                             second session

                             APRIL 28, 2008


41-928                      WASHINGTON : 2008
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                JOSEPH R. BIDEN, Jr., Delaware, Chairman
CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut     RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana
JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts         CHUCK HAGEL, Nebraska
RUSSELL D. FEINGOLD, Wisconsin       NORM COLEMAN, Minnesota
BARBARA BOXER, California            BOB CORKER, Tennessee
BILL NELSON, Florida                 GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, Ohio
BARACK OBAMA, Illinois               LISA MURKOWSKI, Alaska
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey          JIM DeMINT, South Carolina
BENJAMIN L. CARDIN, Maryland         JOHNNY ISAKSON, Georgia
ROBERT P. CASEY, Jr., Pennsylvania   DAVID VITTER, Louisiana
JIM WEBB, Virginia                   JOHN BARRASSO, Wyoming
                   Antony J. Blinken, Staff Director
            Kenneth A. Myers, Jr., Republican Staff Director


                            C O N T E N T S

  Letter of Transmittal..........................................     v

  Background.....................................................     2

  Country Perspectives...........................................     4

    Colombia.....................................................     4

        The FARC at Its ``Tipping-Point''........................     4

        The FARC's Presence in Ecuador and Venezuela.............     5

        Venezuela's Military as a Source of Instability..........     5

        The GOC's Take on the Possibility of U.S. Sanctions 
      Against the Government of Venezuela........................     6

        The Significance of the U.S.-Colombian Trade Promotion 
      Agreement for Colombian Economic Stability.................     6

    Ecuador......................................................     7

        Anger and Frustration Toward Colombia....................     7

        Confronting the FARC the ``Ecuadorean Way''..............     8

        Ecuador-Colombian Border Issues..........................     8

        The ``Reyes Computers'': ``A Mixed Bag''.................     9

  Analysis and Recommendations...................................     9


Appendix I.--Resolution of the March 2008 Meeting of the 
  Organization of American States (OAS)..........................    15

Appendix II.--Declaration of the Heads of State and Government of 
  the Rio Group on the Recent Events Between Ecuador and Colombia    17

Appendix III.--Report of the OAS Commission That Visited Ecuador 
  and Colombia...................................................    19

Appendix IV.--Plan Ecuador.......................................    30

Appendix V.--FARC's Presence on the Ecuadorean and Colombian 
  Border.........................................................    45

Appendix VI.--Permanent Ecuadorean Military Presence on the 
  Ecuadorean and Colombian Border................................    46

Appendix VII.--Discussions With Individuals in Ecuador and 
  Colombia.......................................................    47



                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL


                              United States Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                    Washington, DC, April 28, 2008.
    Dear Colleagues:  From March 18-19, 2008, I directed my 
senior Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) staff member 
for Latin America, Carl Meacham, to visit Colombia and Ecuador 
to investigate their recent conflict in order to develop policy 
    On March 1, 2008, a Colombian raid on an Ecuadorean camp 
controlled by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) 
sparked the region's worst diplomatic crisis in years, 
prompting Ecuador and Venezuela to send troops to their 
respective borders with Colombia. As a result of the Colombian 
raid, Ecuador and Venezuela cut ties with Colombia. However, 
following intense diplomatic efforts, mainly through the 
Organization of American States (OAS), both countries promised 
to withdraw troops and normalize relations.
    Consequently, Colombia pledged not to follow through on 
charges against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at an 
international court for reportedly supporting the FARC, a group 
classified by the United States, Canada, the European Community 
and Colombia as a terrorist organization. But information 
gathered at the site of the raid alleges that Ecuadorean 
government officials were involved in coordination with the 
FARC regarding the trafficking of drugs through Ecuador. This 
information suggests that Venezuelan officials were not only 
involved in facilitating drug- trafficking through Venezuela, 
but that they were also in coordination with the FARC in 
efforts to overthrow the Colombian government.
    The United States is attempting to promote peace, 
prosperity and stability in the region. The robust economic 
relationship the Unites States has with all three includes the 
recent extension of the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) 
with Colombia and Ecuador and the important oil commerce with 
Venezuela. In addition, the United States has a strong 
relationship with Colombia through Plan Colombia and the 
proposed free trade agreement.
    Mr. Meacham's report provides insight into the continuing 
sources of instability between Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela 
and serious policy recommendations related to preventing future 
``flare-ups'' and promoting U.S. interests.
    I hope you find the report helpful as the U.S. Congress 
considers how to advance U.S. interests and promote peace and 
stability between these countries. I look forward to continuing 
to work with you on these issues, and I welcome any comments 
you may have on this report.
                          Richard G. Lugar, Ranking Member,

                          PLAYING WITH FIRE: 


    From March 18-19, 2008 Senate Foreign Relations Committee 
minority staff traveled to Colombia and Ecuador on an official 
visit to understand the conflict that commenced with the March 
1, 2008 raid by Colombia into Ecuador to eliminate the 
FARC's\1\ second in command, Luis Edgar Devia Silva, better 
known by his nom de guerre, ``Raul Reyes.'' During this trip, 
staff met with senior officials of the Governments of Colombia 
and Ecuador and senior officials at the United States Embassies 
in those respective countries. (See Appendix VII).
    \1\ The FARC is a foreign organization that was designated a 
Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) (FARC FTO designated date: 10/8/
1997; Latest designated date: 10/2/2003; EO 13224 designation date 11/
2/2001) by the Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the 
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended. FTO designations 
play a critical role in our fight against terrorism and are an 
effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and 
pressuring groups to get out of the terrorism business. Office of 
Counterterrorism, October 11, 2005. http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/fs/

Legal Criteria for Designation under Section 219 of the INA as amended

          1. It must be a foreign organization.
          2. The organization must engage in terrorist activity, as 
        defined in section 212 (a)(3)(B) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 
        1182(a)(3)(B)), or terrorism, as defined in section 140(d)(2) 
        of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 
        and 1989 (22 U.S.C. 2656f(d)(2)), or retain the capability and 
        intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism.
          3. The organization's terrorist activity or terrorism must 
        threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national 
        security (national defense, foreign relations, or the economic 
        interests) of the United States.

Legal Ramifications of Designation

          1. It is unlawful for a person in the United States or 
        subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to knowingly 
        provide ``material support or resources'' to a designated FTO. 
        (The term ``material support or resources'' is defined in 18 
        U.S.C. 2339A(b)(1) as ``any property, tangible or intangible, 
        or service, including currency or monetary instruments or 
        financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, 
        expert advice or assistance, safe-houses, false documentation 
        or identification, communications equipment, facilities, 
        weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel (1 or more 
        individuals who maybe or include oneself), and transportation, 
        except medicine or religious materials.'' 18 U.S.C. 2339A(b)(2) 
        provides that for these purposes ``the term `training' means 
        instruction or teaching designed to impart a specific skill, as 
        opposed to general knowledge.'' 18 U.S.C. 2339A(b)(3) further 
        provides that for these purposes the term `expert advice or 
        assistance' means advice or assistance derived from scientific, 
        technical or other specialized knowledge.''
          2. Representatives and members of a designated FTO, if they 
        are aliens, are inadmissible to and, in certain circumstances, 
        removable from the United States (see 8 U.S.C. 1182 
        (a)(3)(B)(i)(IV)-(V), 1227 (a)(1)(A)).
          3. Any U.S. financial institution that becomes aware that it 
        has possession of or control over funds in which a designated 
        FTO or its agent has an interest must retain possession of or 
        control over the funds and report the funds to the Office of 
        Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Other Effects of Designation

          1. Supports our efforts to curb terrorism financing and to 
        encourage other nations to do the same.
          2. Stigmatizes and isolates designated terrorist 
        organizations internationally.
          3. Deters donations or contributions to and economic 
        transactions with named organizations.
          4. Heightens public awareness and knowledge of terrorist 
          5. Signals to other governments our concern about named 
    At the request of Senator Lugar, the purpose of the trip 
was to:

   Understand the recent conflict between Colombia and 
        Ecuador, and the role played by Venezuela;

   Determine the outlook for future stability between the 
        three countries, and what are the risks for another 
        crisis; and

   Develop policy recommendations for the United States 
        Government (USG).


    On Saturday, March 1, 2008, Colombian Defense Minister Juan 
Santos, announced that ``Raul Reyes'' had been killed in a 
military raid led by Colombian military forces. The attack 
occurred in a guerilla camp in Ecuador, and involved both air 
force helicopters and Colombian troops fighting on Ecuadorean 
soil, two miles from the border with Colombia.
    On March 2, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ordered the 
mobilization of ten tank battalions and the deployment of 
fighter jets to Venezuela's border with Colombia. Chavez also 
shut down the Venezuelan Embassy in Colombia and threatened to 
cut off all commerce. Ecuador responded by expressing its 
intent to deploy several troop battalions to the border.
    That same day, in response to these developments, the 
Colombian government publicly released the contents of several 
documents allegedly found on laptop computers in the possession 
of ``Raul Reyes.'' Among the documents found were what appear 
to be letters from Ecuador's Minister of the Interior, Gustavo 
Larrea, offering logistical support to FARC commanders and 
discussing regional political issues. These letters appear to 
document a relationship between the FARC and the governments of 
Ecuador and Venezuela. However, it should be noted that 
President Correa claims to have dismantled 47 FARC camps inside 
Ecuador over the last year and on three occasions carried out 
joint operations with Colombian troops.
    President Chavez on the other hand has been unambiguous in 
his support for the FARC. Recently, President Chavez voiced his 
intention to campaign for the removal of the FARC from 
international terrorist lists and their reclassification to the 
status of ``belligerent army.'' \2\
    \2\ Belligerent forces, 1907 Hague Regulations


The qualifications of belligerents

          Article 1. The laws, rights, and duties of war apply not only 
        to armies, but also to militia and volunteercorps fulfilling 
        the following conditions:

                  1. To be commanded by a person responsible for his 
                  2. To have a fixed distinctive emblem recognizable at 
                a distance;
                  3. To carry arms openly; and
                  4. To conduct their operations in accordance with the 
                laws and customs of war.In countries where militia or 
                volunteer corps constitute the army, or form part of 
                it, they are included under the denomination ``army.''

          Art. 2. The inhabitants of a territory which has not been 
        occupied, who, on the approach of the enemy, spontaneously take 
        up arms to resist the invading troops without having had time 
        to organize themselves in accordance with Article 1, shall be 
        regarded as belligerents if they carry arms openly and if they 
        respect the laws and customs of war.
          Art. 3. The armed forces of the belligerent parties may 
        consist of combatants and non-combatants. In the case of 
        capture by the enemy, both have a right to be treated as 
        prisoners of war.
    On March 5, the Permanent Council of the OAS agreed on a 
resolution approved by all 34 Member countries calling the 
attacks ``a violation of the sovereignty and territorial 
integrity of Ecuador and of principles of international law'' 
(See Appendix I). However, the resolution did not textually 
condemn the raid. The killing of ``Raul Reyes'' resulted in a 
series of accusations and tense diplomatic exchanges between 
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa and President Chavez against 
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.
    Colombian President Uribe ordered the strike into Ecuador 
in order to neutralize a high value FARC target, and safeguard 
the stability and democracy of Colombia within the context of a 
long standing war. A desire to protect the territorial 
integrity and sovereignty of Ecuador animated Ecuadorean 
President Correa's response.
    The issue seemed to have subsided on Friday, March 7, at 
the Rio Group\3\ Summit in the Dominican Republic, where 
President Correa accepted the apologies of President Uribe 
stating: ``with the commitment of never attacking a `brother 
country' again and by asking forgiveness, we can consider the 
very serious incident resolved.'' President Uribe expressed the 
regret of the Colombian government, but stated that it was 
necessary ``in the fight against terrorism.'' Subsequently, on 
Sunday March 9, Venezuela stated that diplomatic relations with 
Colombia would immediately normalize. (See Appendix II for Rio 
Group Summit Declaration)
    \3\ The Rio Group is an international organization of Latin 
American and Caribbean states. It was created on 18 December 1986 in 
the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro by means of the Declaration of Rio 
de Janeiro, signed by Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, 
Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela (the members of the Contadora Group and the 
Contadora Support Group). To some extent it was perceived by some 
observers as an alternative body to the Organization of American States 
during the Cold War, since that body was dominated by the States. The 
Rio Group does not have a secretariat or permanent body, and instead 
relies on yearly summits of heads of states. Current member states are: 
Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican 
republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, 
Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
    From March 9 to March 12, the Permanent Council asked that 
an OAS Commission led by OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel 
Insulza travel to Colombia, Ecuador and the site of the raid. 
As a result of the visit, President Correa said he would like 
to reactivate the Bi-national Border Commission (Combifrom) 
between Ecuador and Colombia to address border issues, and 
President Uribe called for mechanisms to enforce existing 
bilateral agreements.
    On March 12, in response to an invitation from the 
Colombian government, an INTERPOL\4\ team was placed in Bogota 
to review and assess the authenticity of the FARC files found 
on the laptop computers in the possession of ``Raul Reyes.'' 
The Venezuelan government called the documents ``a collection 
of inconsistent and incomprehensible documents.''
    \4\ INTERPOL is the world's largest international police 
organization, with 186 member countries. Created in 1923, it 
facilitates cross-border police co-operation, and supports and assists 
all organizations, authorities and services whose mission is to prevent 
or combat international crime. INTERPOL aims to facilitate 
international police co-operation even where diplomatic relations do 
not exist between particular countries. Action is taken within the 
limits of existing laws in different countries and in the spirit of the 
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. INTERPOL's constitution 
prohibits ``any intervention or activities of a political, military, 
religious or racial character.''
    On March 17, the OAS reconvened in an ``Emergency Session'' 
with the attendance of Foreign Ministers from member countries, 
per the March 5th Resolution to report on the OAS Commission's 
visit to the raid site in Ecuador and to meet with Government 
officials in Ecuador and Colombia. The Commission concluded in 
a March 17th report that ties of trust between the two 
governments have been severely damaged. The Commission also 
determined that the Ecuadorean and Colombian versions of the 
raid are contradictory and that the situation in the border 
area between the two countries is complex in terms of 
geographical, territorial, communications and economic aspects 
(See Appendix III).
    On March 24, 2008, Ecuadorean Attorney General Alfredo 
Alvear confirmed that one of the bodies found on the scene of 
the guerilla camp in Ecuador belonged to Ecuadorean citizen 
Franklin Aisalla (an alleged FARC locksmith). The Ecuadorean 
government sought help from the OAS in condemning the killing.
    Though concern regarding the worth and legitimacy of the 
``Reyes Computers'' exists, on March 17 information derived 
from the computers led to the recovery of more than $480,000 in 
clandestine cash apparently hidden for several years in Costa 
Rica; on March 26, Colombian officials reported recovering 66 
pounds of depleted uranium that they allege was originally 
acquired by the FARC. Juan Manuel Santos, Colombian Defense 
Minister, said that he expected the validation of the files to 
be completed by the end of April; ``It is a great deal of 
information that is extremely valuable and important.''
    On April 9, Ecuadorean Defense Minister, Wellington 
Sandoval stepped down, along with the four top military 
commanders, after President Correa accused the military of 
aiding U.S. operations against FARC rebels.\5\
    \5\ BBC News Ecuador's Military Chief Resigns http://
    On April 14, Ecuadorean Minister of Public Administration, 
Communications and Information, Vinicio Alvarado, announced 
that a formal complaint would be filed with the OAS regarding 
statements made by Colombian officials on April 13 accusing 
President Correa of stopping Ecuadorean military operations 
against the FARC. The Minister said that the Ecuadorean 
Government found this to be a violation of the March 17, 2008, 
resolution.\6\ As well, on April 17 President Correa warned the 
Colombian government--and Colombia's FARC rebels--to stay out 
of his country, saying future incursions would be considered an 
``act of war.''
    \6\ El Ecuador presentara   queja formal ante la OEA por las 
ultimas acciones del Gobierno Colombiano http://www.presidencia.gov.ec/

                          Country Perspectives
The FARC at Its ``Tipping-Point''
    Throughout staff's meetings, Colombian officials reiterated 
that they had accepted responsibly in their incursion into 
Ecuador, and noted that the Government of Colombia (GOC) was 
satisfied with the OAS resolution.GOC officials believe that 
the computers recovered at the scene of the raid provided 
explicit evidence of Venezuelan involvement with the FARC and 
support the contention that Venezuela turns a blind eye to FARC 
on Venezuelan soil. Furthermore, GOC officials believe that the 
death of ``Raul Reyes'' might be a critical blow to the FARC. 
GOC officials pointed to the example of Peru's Sendero Luminoso 
(``Shining Path''): ``When Abimael Guzman (Sendero Luminoso's 
leader) went down, the rest of Sendero went down with him, over 
    Reviewing the history of Colombia's conflict with the FARC 
over the last decade, the argument was made that FARC behavior, 
particularly when offered the freedom of the Demilitarized Zone 
(Despeje, in Spanish) during the 1990's, demonstrated that the 
organization no longer had political legitimacy. One Colombian 
official noted that when the FARC was offered territory and 
political control, the group decisively chose narco-
trafficking, banditry and violence. Since then, GOC officials 
assert, the gap between rhetoric and reality has only grown, 
and information acquired from the ``Reyes Computers'' 
decisively proves this.
    One GOC official also expressed optimism that the ``Reyes 
Computers'' would continue to generate more revelations: At the 
time this quote was recorded, ``Only ten percent of Reyes' 
principal computer has been exploited.'' GOC officials spoke of 
a tipping point where the cumulative blows to the FARC may lead 
to the implosion of the organization.
    More broadly, GOC officials noted that the obtained 
evidence of ``Reyes Computers'' demonstrated that the FARC had 
developed broad and comfortable ties throughout Latin America 
and further afield. GOC officials were quick to point out that 
the information obtained from the ``Reyes Computers'' to date 
indicated that FARC had fraternal ties with communist parties 
in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, and Spain, as well as 
longstanding and deep ties with President Chavez and networks 
of Marxists in Venezuela and Colombia.
The FARC's Presence in Ecuador and Venezuela
    Prior to the March 1, 2008 raid, GOC officials had 
identified some 32 FARC camps operating freely on Ecuadorean 
soil. According to Ecuadorean officials the FARC would move 
their camps, at Ecuador's behest. GOC officials pointed out: 
``the real issue is not that `Raul Reyes' was in his pajamas 
and not in his military fatigues when he was killed; the issue 
is that he felt comfortable enough in his Ecuadorean base to 
feel that he could sleep in his pajamas.'' Clearly, to the GOC 
this feeling of FARC security in Ecuador is a real outrage.
    Regarding Venezuelan support for the FARC, GOC officials 
showed staff a map indicating FARC camps in Venezuela. The GOC 
knew that they were there, but could do nothing against them, 
GOC officials claimed. The Venezuelans are repeatedly informed 
by the GOC that the FARC is actively using Venezuelan soil; 
they cite Venezuelan inaction as evidence that Venezuela was 
actively supporting the FARC.
Venezuela's Military as a Source of Regional Instability
    The Colombian Military believes that the Venezuelan 
mobilization at the Colombian frontier was disorganized and 
inconsequential. Yet, according to a Colombian Defense Ministry 
official, there remains a risk that Venezuela will take this 
logistical failure as ``lessons learned'' and improve its 
military to enable future action against Colombia. GOC 
officials believe that a successful Venezuelan attack on 
Colombia in the short term is ``unimaginable.'' Yet, 
Venezuela's military shopping remains of deep concern to the 
GOC. The possibility that Venezuela may be seeking Man-Portable 
Air Defense Systems (MANPADS), as well as plans to purchase 
four Kilo-class Project 636 Russian diesel-electric 
submarines\7\ and related talks with Russian officials to 
purchase additional weapons systems could pose a threat to 
Colombian military superiority, according to GOC officials.
    \7\ The Kilo-class Project 636 submarines are mainly intended for 
anti-shipping and anti-submarine operations in relatively shallow 
waters. Venezuela, the fourth largest arms buyer from Russia after 
China, India and Algeria, has so far purchased some $3 billion worth of 
arms from Russia, including military helicopters, Kalashnikovs and 
Sukhoi fighter jets.
The GOC's Take on the Possibility of U.S. Sanctions Against the 
        Government of Venezuela
    Staff relayed the increased likelihood that the impact of 
the information in the ``Reyes Computers,'' if certified by 
Interpol, is likely to be followed by pressure in the U.S. 
Congress for a determination by U.S. authorities that the 
government of Venezuela is supporting an FTO, triggering 
mandatory sanctions.
    GOC had an ambiguous position on any such sanctions. From 
the GOC standpoint, a decision triggering economic sanctions 
could severely limit Venezuelan commercial revenues, including 
oil, thus affecting Venezuela's ability to attract funds for 
arms purchases. On the other hand, as Venezuela's economic 
policies have progressively hollowed out the Venezuelan 
economy, and in particular its agriculture, GOC officials noted 
that Venezuela has grown into an enormous market for Colombia's 
agricultural produce. Any broad economic sanctions that would 
inhibit Venezuela's ability to attract capital would lessen 
Venezuela's ability to purchase Colombian goods, and any 
reduction in Venezuela's ability to purchase Colombian products 
would invariably have a negative impact on Colombia's economy. 
Moreover, any broad economic sanctions against Venezuela might 
result in political pressure for the United States to curtail 
economic relations; ultimately, this would rebound to the 
detriment of the Colombian economy.
The Significance of the U.S.-Colombian Trade Promotion Agreement for 
        Colombian Economic Stability
    Colombia is highly dependent on Venezuela as an export 
market for its products. According to U.S. Embassy officials in 
Colombia, commerce between Colombia and Venezuela has returned 
to normal after the recent crisis between those two countries 
and Ecuador. The Colombian Finance Minister estimates that a 
complete shutdown of trade with Venezuela could cost 100,000 
    Venezuela is Colombia's second-largest trading partner 
after the United States. Trade between the nations totaled $6.5 
billion as of December 2007, according to Colombian government 
statistics. Venezuela imported $5.2 billion in goods from its 
neighbor, nearly double the 2006 amount because of high demand 
for Colombian-made vehicles, car parts and clothing. Colombia, 
meanwhile, purchased only $1.3 billion worth of Venezuelan 
goods, mostly petrochemical products and plastic goods. 
Venezuela currently absorbs some 15 percent of Colombia's total 
exports and about one-third of its manufacturing exports.
    Venezuela is now Colombia's single most important 
destination for non-traditional (other than commodities) 
exports, accounting for 32% of such sales. Colombian exports of 
food to Venezuela are particularly crucial for Colombia 
commercially, and given price controls and shortages of many 
staples in Venezuela, for Venezuela as well. Colombian exports 
to the U.S. consist of mainly commodities and low value added 
    In relation to the to the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion 
Agreement, Colombia already gets 95% access to the U.S. through 
the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) that is subject to 
renewal by the U.S. Congress periodically. But, it is important 
to note that ratification of this agreement will not only 
provide an extra 5% access to the U.S. economy, once 
implemented, the agreement will eliminate tariffs on more than 
80 percent of American exports of industrial and consumer goods 
immediately and 100 percent over time.
    The agreement will also allow for the development of a 
stable, long-term environment for broad investment 
opportunities that will provide many gains. Preeminent among 
these gains, this environment would help Colombia to diversify 
its export markets.
Anger and Frustration Toward Colombia
    According to GOE officials, the GOC had an obligation on 
March 1, 2008, to notify Ecuador of its intent to raid the 
camp. GOE officials explained that they would not have had a 
problem capturing and extraditing Reyes to Colombia if GOC 
officials had requested it. According to GOE Military officials 
the Ecuadorean military was only minutes from capturing him 
last November.
    GOE military officials state that unlike Colombia, Ecuador 
has cities close to its border, including Quito, suggesting 
that Ecuador is more vulnerable to the FARC than Colombia.
    GOE officials admitted that they have lost political 
confidence in the role the United States could play in seeking 
the release of hostages held by the FARC. But, GOE officials 
noted that they remain interested in working for the release of 
all FARC-held hostages. In this regard, it is important to note 
that President Correa has called on the FARC to liberate all 
hostages without conditions.
    The GOE holds that it has been accused unfairly by the 
United States of collaborating with the FARC when it was just 
doing its part to work for the release of hostages under a 
``humanitarian mandate.''
    President Correa has condemned the kidnappings of what the 
GOE designates as irregular forces\8\ like the FARC.
    \8\ Irregular Groups/ Irregular Forces (Rexton Kan, Paul. March 
2008. Drug Intoxicated Irregular Fighters: Complications Dangers and 
Responses. Strategic Studies Institute http://

          Leadership of irregular group uses the promise of drugs to 
        their fighters as a reward.
          Leadership of irregular group encourages drug use as a 
        motivation for atrocities against civilians.
          Command and control of irregular troops are nearly 
        nonexistent due to widespread drug use among fighters.
          The types of equipment used by irregular forces do not 
        require a great degree of skill.
          Giving drugs to individuals coincides with the tactics 
        employed by irregular forces.
          Over time, drug use among irregular forces generally degrades 
        combat effectiveness and leads to internal division and 
          Their members are not full-time, regularly trained military 
        professionals. As a result, draftees and conscripts have sought 
        drugs as a way to cope with an unfamiliar atmosphere and can 
        behave similarly to irregular troops.
Confronting the FARC the ``Ecuadorean Way''
    The GOE explained that the Ecuadorean approach to dealing 
with the FARC emphasizes prevention of conflict using social 
and economic programs and a police presence. The GOE wants to 
invest in sustainable development and community policing rather 
than the military.
    The GOE believes that the police can do what is necessary 
to combat illegal activity and ensure citizen security, 
including dismantling the FARC. The GOE is working to increase 
its presence in the border area, including medical clinics and 
judicial authorities, as well as the police. The objective is 
to reduce incentives for Ecuadorean citizens in the border area 
to work with irregular forces and to build a law-abiding 
society. Ecuador welcomes international assistance in these 
areas under a policy proposal devised by the GOE called ``Plan 
Ecuador'' (See Appendix IV).
Ecuador-Colombian Border Issues
    The GOE believes that it can control the border if the GOC 
does so as well. The GOE explained that the FARC are present in 
Ecuador as a result of Plan Colombia--which is forcing FARC 
personnel to flee to Ecuador--and the inability of the GOC to 
contain the FARC within its borders.
    GOE officials explained that they will never be able to 
make the border completely impassable. Yet, they were quick to 
point out that the Ecuadorean military has destroyed 47 FARC 
camps since 2007.
    GOE officials emphasized that the FARC's 32th and 48th 
Fronts are located in southern Colombia (See map, Appendix V). 
The GOE has 14 military posts in its border region; according 
to GOE officials Ecuador covers the area more consistently than 
does Colombia (See map, Appendix VI).
    The GOE has fought narcotics trafficking more effectively 
than has the GOC, according to GOE officials. Asked whether 
they would name the FARC a terrorist group, GOE officials 
offered that it would only make Ecuador a target.
    GOE officials explained that for years they have welcomed a 
large number of Colombian refugees. But, they have never once 
received compensation for their care, or for Ecuadorean 
properties that were destroyed by the Colombian military during 
GOC operations along the border area. Nor has the GOC conducted 
impartial investigations when Ecuadoreans are killed during 
these operations. According to GOE officials, their requests to 
the GOC on this subject have gone unanswered.
    One Ecuadorean military official admitted that he believed 
that the FARC's actions are ``terrorist,'' and was glad to see 
Reyes dead. This same official admitted the conflict with 
Colombia is painful; however, he asserted that ``it is 
Colombia's fault. A relationship of mutual confidence has been 
broken through a chain of lies,'' he said.
    According to GOE officials, bilateral mechanisms like the 
Combifrom have failed, and observers representing a third party 
(e.g., Rio Group, OAS, United Nations (UN)) are needed to 
ensure the rule of law.
    According to the GOE, the origin of the problem is 
Colombia, since there are no Ecuadorean terrorists, mafias, or 
troops attacking Colombia. For its part, the GOE will continue 
its efforts to improve security, and even redouble them, while 
also seeking to address the causes of the conflict.
The ``Reyes Computers'': ``A Mixed Bag''
    Going forward, GOE officials stated that they would have 
confidence in the documents ``allegedly contained in `Reyes' 
Computers' collected during the Colombian military's raid'' 
only if they were analyzed by an impartial source and handled 
in a transparent manner, rather than for political ends as 
Colombia is doing, GOE officials said.
    Once the GOE has access to the information, it will 
investigate. According to GOE officials, some of the 
information in the computers will likely turn out to be wishful 
thinking on the part of the FARC and some will be 
unsubstantiated gossip or hearsay. Other parts, they admit, 
will be true.

                      Analysis and Reccomendations
    A violation of the territorial integrity of a country is a 
very serious infraction punishable by international law. An 
appreciation of Latin American sensitivities regarding 
sovereignty and the history in which these sensitivities 
developed is needed to place the recent crisis in full context. 
The often visceral Latin American response to issues of 
sovereignty springs largely from the reoccurrence of border 
conflicts between Latin countries and past interventions from 
European powers and the United States.
    Staff believes that these attitudes serve as a backdrop for 
a situation that is still evolving and could escalate in the 
near future. In this regard, it is important for the United 
States to encourage a constructive regional framework that 
features a clear and explicit consensus. This consensus should 
unequivocally declare that the methods used by the FARC, and 
other like groups, violate both Colombia's sovereignty and the 
sovereignty of other countries where they operate, regardless 
of how these groups are classified, whether terrorist, 
irregular or belligerent.
    Given that some countries view the FARC as a legitimate 
organization and benefit to some degree from FARC activities, 
finding agreement on such a framework presents a major 
challenge for the region. However, once the nature of FARC 
activities and the alleged relationships of some countries with 
the FARC are verified and exposed, it will be difficult for the 
complicit countries to continue to support the FARC through 
action or inaction.
    Though there are other issues that make up the political 
landscape regarding this complicated situation, the chief 
question the USG may confront in the short term is:

   If the information found by Interpol in the ``Reyes 
        Computers'' is determined to be credible and 
        verifiable, what policy tools will the USG use to 
        protect USG interests and, in partnership, the security 
        of individual nations at risk?

    The following are specific points that should be considered 
by relevant USG officials to ensure that the United States 
protects its interests in the region, advances regional 
partnership and plays a constructive role in creating a 
positive regional environment to minimize the possibility of 
crisis among Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela.
1. Considerations for Additional Sanctions on Venezuela
    Many have suggested that Venezuela be designated as a State 
Sponsor of Terrorism\9\ due to its support for the FARC. Should 
evidence of closer collaboration between the FARC and Venezuela 
come to light from Reyes' computer, pressure in Congress and in 
the Administration for such a shift in policy will grow.
    \9\ Country Reports on Terrorism Released by the Office of the 
Coordinator for Counterterrorism, U.S. State Department, April 30, 2007

State Sponsors of Terrorism: Overview

          State sponsors of terrorism provide critical support to non-
        state terrorist groups. Without state sponsors, terrorist 
        groups would have much more difficulty obtaining the funds, 
        weapons, materials, and secure areas they require to plan and 
        conduct operations. Most worrisome is that some of these 
        countries also have the capability to manufacture weapons of 
        mass destruction (WMD) and other destabilizing technologies 
        that could get into the hands of terrorists. The United States 
        will continue to insist that these countries end the support 
        they give to terrorist groups. As a result of the historic 
        decisions taken by Libya's leadership in 2003 to renounce 
        terrorism and to abandon its WMD programs, the United States 
        rescinded Libya's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism 
        on June 30. Since pledging to renounce terrorism in 2003, Libya 
        has cooperated closely with the United States and the 
        international community on counterterrorism efforts. Sudan 
        continued to take significant steps to cooperate in the War on 
        Terror. Cuba, Iran, and Syria, however, have not renounced 
        terrorism or made efforts to act against Foreign Terrorist 
        Organizations. Iran and Syria routinely provided safe haven, 
        substantial resources, and guidance to terrorist organizations. 
        Venezuela was certified by the Secretary of State as ``not 
        fully cooperating'' with U.S. counterterrorism efforts. The 
        designation, included in Section 40A of the Arms Export Control 
        Act, was based on a review of Venezuela's overall efforts to 
        fight terrorism. Effective October 1, the decision imposed 
        sanctions on all commercial arms sales and transfers. It 
        remains in effect until September 30, 2007, when it may be 
        renewed by a determination by the Secretary. (Venezuela is the 
        only nation certified as ``not fully cooperating'' that is not 
        a state sponsor of terrorism.)

State Sponsor: Implications

          Designating countries that repeatedly provide support for 
        acts of international terrorism as state sponsors of terrorism 
        imposes four main sets of U.S. Government sanctions:

                  1. A ban on arms-related exports and sales.
                  2. Controls over exports of dual-use items, requiring 
                30-day Congressional notification for goods or services 
                that could significantly enhance the terrorist-list 
                country's military capability or ability to support 
                  3. Prohibitions on economic assistance.
                  4. Imposition of miscellaneous financial and other 
                restrictions, including:

                          Requiring the United States to oppose loans 
                        by the World Bank and other international 
                        financial institutions;
                          Lifting diplomatic immunity to allow families 
                        of terrorist victims to file civil lawsuits in 
                        U.S. courts;
                          Denying companies and individuals tax credits 
                        for income earned in terrorist-listed 
                          Denial of duty-free treatment of goods 
                        exported to the United States;
                          Authority to prohibit any U.S. citizen from 
                        engaging in a financial transaction with a 
                        terrorist-list government without a Treasury 
                        Department license; and
                          Prohibition of Defense Department contracts 
                        above $100,000 with companies controlled by 
                        terrorist-list states.
    If events lead to this option, policymakers must ensure 
that the law is carefully and flexibly crafted to guarantee 
that any enhanced sanctions diminish, rather than solidify, 
President Chavez's ability to mobilize public opinion in his 
favor, both in Venezuela and in the rest of Latin America.
    Staff strongly cautions that policymakers must be wary of 
the implications of poorly thought out sanctions which might 
isolate the United States and lessen its ability to bring about 
constructive reforms and thereby advance USG interests.
    Venezuela is currently subject to a number of legal 
restrictions, some of which create overlapping prohibitions. 
Some relate to the provision of foreign assistance, and some 
relate to other programs that do not necessarily utilize 
foreign assistance funds, e.g. Foreign Military Sales and 
licensing of defense articles and services (full list of U.S. 
Sanctions against Venezuela).\10\ Some of these provisions 
restrict assistance to the government of Venezuela while others 
restrict assistance to the country as a whole.
    \10\ Tier 3 Trafficking in Persons (TIP)

          Pursuant to Presidential Determination (PD) 2008-4 (October 
        18, 2007), during fiscal year 2008, as in prior recent fiscal 
        years, the Government of Venezuela is ineligible for non-
        humanitarian, non-trade-related foreign assistance (as defined 
        in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (Div. A, P.L. 106-
        386), as amended) including most ESF and DA programs, and FMF 
        and IMET. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) are also restricted. 
        Except under specific circumstances including anti-TIP related 
        programs, projects addressing basic human needs or certain 
        regional projects, the United States must use its ``best 
        efforts'' to actively lobby against International Financial 
        Institution (IFI) financing for Venezuela.


          For the past three years, Venezuela has been found to have 
        ``failed demonstrably'' during the previous 12 months to adhere 
        to its obligations under international counter-narcotics 
        agreements and to take certain counter-narcotics measures under 
        Section 706 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, FY 
        2002-2003 (FRAA) (P.L. 107-228). This sanction applies to the 
        country as a whole and not just the government. The restriction 
        applies to most assistance under the FAA, OPIC programs, sales 
        and financing under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), 
        agricultural commodities other than food, Export-Import Bank 
        financing, but does not apply to humanitarian or 
        counternarcotics assistance. The President has waived the 
        sanctions with respect to programs to aid Venezuela's 
        democratic institutions. See PD 2007-33 (September 14, 2007).


          Venezuela was designated as ``not cooperating fully'' with 
        U.S. antiterrorism efforts, pursuant to section 40A of the Arms 
        Export and Control Act, as amended, in both 2006 and 2007. The 
        certification will lapse unless renewed by May 15, 2008. 
        Pursuant to this certification, defense articles and services 
        may not be sold or licensed for export to Venezuela during the 
        relevant fiscal year. Prior to this certification taking 
        effect, the Department of State announced as a policy matter in 
        August 2006 that it would deny all applications for licenses or 
        for other approvals to export defense articles or services to 


          Certain individuals and entities with Venezuelan addresses 
        and/or identification cards have been designated by the 
        Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, 
        primarily under its counter-narcotics trafficking sanctions 
        programs. Any assets belonging to these individuals within U.S. 
        jurisdiction are frozen, and transactions with these 
        individuals and entities are prohibited.
    Staff advises that any new sanctions regime must not 
impinge on U.S. commercial prospects in Venezuela.
    It is difficult to conjure all appropriate possibilities 
that exist within the flexible framework provided in anti-
terrorism law, although we can recall that the United States 
has crafted targeted sanctions against other problematic 
governments employing, among other restrictions, sanctions that 
have frozen assets and banned the travel of prominent officials 
and their families.
    Staff believes in this case that U.S. actions are stronger 
if they rest on the foundation of regional support. Absent such 
support, U.S. sanctions on Venezuela would be less effective. 
Indeed, they might be counter-productive. The USG has to act 
with care that other Latin American countries do not see 
themselves labeled unnecessarily and provocatively as 
supporters of terror, or the surrogates of terrorists, simply 
because they are carrying out their perceived national interest 
in maintaining relations with Venezuela.
    It is better for the United States' long term interests in 
the region to be seen as respectful of the on-going process 
established in the OAS, which up to now has been beneficial in 
defusing tensions. On this occasion, rather than ``speaking 
softly and carrying a big stick'' the better posture for the 
USG to assume is one of speaking with gentle persuasion, and 
wise counsel, and letting those ``sticks'' that may need to be 
wielded be ones of a multi-lateral rather than a unilateral 
nature. Additional sanctions would be perceived as more 
legitimate if enacted within a multilateral framework.
    This does not mean that support for terrorism is accepted, 
or that U.S. interests should be made vulnerable to the 
timetable or whims of the collective will of Latin nations. On 
the contrary, if evidence is established of serious and 
substantive support for the FARC by the Government of Venezuela 
then the Government of Venezuela's credibility in Latin America 
will be reduced. Venezuela will be viewed as an unreliable 
actor that seeks to sabotage the security interests of 
countries that do not share its economic paradigm, or its 
political views. To put it in context: Venezuela will be seen 
as infringing upon the sovereign rights of a Latin American 
neighbor, not because the U.S. says it is, but because the 
evidence proves it is. This can turn antipathy toward the USG 
by any single individual Latin American country into Latin 
American regional scrutiny of an intrusive brother country, 
whose government has proclaimed itself to be the major foe of 
the USG.
    In other words, if Venezuela is found to be complicit, the 
U.S would be wise to allow for the regional dynamic to take its 
course. If the U.S. reacts too strongly, attention will go from 
Venezuela's transgressions to yet another example of ``American 
intervention'' and strong-arm tactics.
    It is in this climate that political space will open for 
USG input that seeks to engender effective multilateral action 
in reaction to any nation that contravenes U.S. national 
security priorities and the collective interests of member 
countries of the OAS and signatories of its Charter.
2. Ensure that information gathered from the ``Reyes Computers'' is 
        disseminated broadly and the process of how it was analyzed is 
    If the Reyes information is proven to be authentic, Latin 
countries will need time to examine the information with the 
utmost transparency. In this regard, the creation of an 
official webpage, associated either with Interpol, or another 
credible multilateral organization, could serve as the 
exclusive venue through which documents are made public. 
Information that is sensitive to the military should be indexed 
    This information must be kept and distributed by an 
organization that is viewed by Latin governments and people as 
impartial. If this does not occur, the information could be 
regarded in some Latin sectors as being doctored by the United 
States, thus losing its usefulness. This could easily alienate 
other Latin American countries. Obviously, this would not be 
helpful for U.S interests in the long term.
3. Should the ``Reyes Computers'' not yield credible and verifiable 
        information that incriminates the highest ranks of the GOE the 
        U.S. should work with the GOE and OAS to devise a comprehensive 
        northern border security assistance plan for Ecuador perhaps as 
        a refurbishment of ``Plan Ecuador''
    Staff encourages the U.S. Department of State to consider 
advancing in conjunction and partnership with Ecuador an effort 
through the OAS for the development of a northern border multi-
lateral security assistance program that involves support for 
the GOE's efforts to gain control of the drug trafficking 
corridors of the country.
    If the information from the ``Reyes Computers'' is not 
proven to be credible and verifiable, and assuming affirmative 
acceptance by Ecuador, this regional initiative in support of a 
sovereign country would be an effective first collective 
regional reaction in recognition by Latin America of the danger 
represented by the FARC to Ecuador's sovereignty, given the 
difficulty of patrolling and controlling the border. 
Necessarily this would include regional cooperative engagement 
for certain aspects of training and equipping Ecuador's 
counternarcotics forces, and the provision of humanitarian 
assistance and development components to help Ecuador deal with 
Colombian refugees and others displaced by conflict in the 
    As well, a regional assistance package should provide 
assistance to enhance Ecuadorean narcotics interdiction efforts 
along the border and at ports facilities. Assistance should 
also be considered for radar systems and should include support 
for Ecuador's police in the border area, specifically for 
procurement and training. Funds should also be made available 
for communications equipment, as well as ammunition and 
logistical support to enhance the Ecuador military's guarding 
of the border region.
    In addition, an OAS regional plan developed with strong 
acceptance and input from Ecuador and Colombia that performs 
the functions associated with Combifrom would be a positive 
development for the entire region, and would set an example for 
conflict resolution and the primacy of rule of law across Latin 

                            A P P E N D I X


 Appendix I.--Resolution of the March 2008 Meeting of the Organization 
                        of American States (OAS)



                    ANNEX 1--RESOLUTION OF THE OAS 
                           PERMANENT COUNCIL

                               CP/RES.930 (1632/08)
                                       5 March 2008
                                  Original: Spanish

                         CP/RES. 930 (1632/08)


               (APPROVED AT ITS MEETING OF MARCH 5, 2008)


    That the Organization of American States (OAS) is fully 
competent to take cognizance of deeds and events that 
jeopardize hemispheric peace and security;
    That the purposes of the Organization of American States 
include respect for the personality, sovereignty, and 
independence of states and the faithful fulfillment of 
obligations derived from treaties and other sources of 
international law;
    That Article 15 of the Charter of the Organization of 
American States establishes that ``[t]he right of each State to 
protect itself and to live its own life does not authorize it 
to commit unjust acts against another State'';
    That Article 19 of the Charter prescribes that ``No State 
or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or 
indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or 
external affairs of any other State. The foregoing principle 
prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of 
interference or attempted threat against the personality of the 
State or against its political, economic, and cultural 
    That Article 21 of the Charter emphasizes that ``The 
territory of a State is inviolable; it may not be the object, 
even temporarily, of military occupation or of other measures 
of force taken by another State, directly or indirectly, on any 
grounds whatever'';
    That the Charter of the Organization of American States 
stipulates, in Article 28, that ``Every act of aggression by a 
State against the territorial integrity or the inviolability of 
the territory or against the sovereignty or political 
independence of an American State shall be considered an act of 
aggression against the other American states'';
    That the Charter of the Organization of American States 
reaffirms the principle that ``Controversies of an 
international character arising between two or more American 
States shall be settled by peaceful procedures''; and
    That ``[t]o strengthen the peace and security of the 
continent'' and ``ensure the pacific settlement of disputes 
that may arise among the Member States'' are among the 
essential purposes of the OAS Charter;


    That on the morning of Saturday, March 1, 2008, military 
forces and police personnel of Colombia entered the territory 
of Ecuador, in the province of Sucumb!os, without the express 
consent of the government of Ecuador to carry out an operation 
against members of an irregular group of the Revolutionary 
Armed Forces of Colombia who were clandestinely encamped on the 
Ecuadorian side of the border;
    That that act constitutes a violation of the sovereignty 
and territorial integrity of Ecuador and of principles of 
international law;
    That that act has triggered a serious crisis between those 
two countries, leading to the breaking off of relations between 
the two states and grave tension in the region;
    That, pursuant to Article 84 of the Charter, one function 
of the OAS is to keep vigilance over the maintenance of 
friendly relations among the member states, using the 
procedures provided for in that Charter; and
    That this case meets the conditions for convocation of a 
Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, in 
light of Articles 61 ff of the OAS Charter,


    1. To reaffirm the principle that the territory of a state 
is inviolable and may not be the object, even temporarily, of 
military occupation or of other measures of force taken by 
another State, directly or indirectly, on any grounds 
    2. To constitute a commission, headed by the Secretary 
General and composed of four ambassadors designated by him, to 
visit both countries, traveling to the places that the parties 
indicate, to submit the corresponding report to the Meeting of 
Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and to propose 
formulas for bringing the two nations closer together.
    3. To convene, under the provisions of Articles 61, 62, and 
63 of the Charter of the Organization of American States, a 
Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, to be 
held on Monday, March 17, 2008, at OAS headquarters, to examine 
the facts and make pertinent recommendations.
 Appendix II.--Declaration of the Heads of State and Government of the 
       Rio Groupon the Recent Events Between Ecuador and Colombia

           (FINAL REVISED VERSION, 4:50 P.M., MARCH 7, 2008)


    The Heads of State and Government of the Permanent 
Mechanism for Consultation and Policy Coordination--Rio Group--
meeting on the occasion of the XX Summit Meeting, in Santo 
Domingo, Dominican Republic, mindful of the situation 
prevailing between Ecuador and Colombia, have decided to issue 
the following Declaration:

    1. The entire region views as a matter of grave concern the 
events that occurred on March 1, 2008, when military forces and 
police personnel of Colombia entered the territory of Ecuador, 
in the province of Sucumb!os, without the express consent of 
the Government of Ecuador, to carry out an operation against 
members of an irregular group of the Revolutionary Armed Forces 
of Colombia, who were clandestinely encamped on the Ecuadorian 
side of the border.
    2. We denounce this violation of the territorial integrity 
of Ecuador, and we therefore reaffirm that the territory of a 
state is inviolable and may not be the object, even 
temporarily, of military occupation or of other measures of 
force taken by another State, directly or indirectly, on any 
    3. We note, with satisfaction, the full apology that 
President Alvaro Uribe offered to the Government and people of 
Colombia, for the violation on March 1, 2008, of the territory 
and sovereignty of this sister nation by Colombian security 
    4. We also acknowledge the pledge by President Alvaro 
Uribe, on behalf of his country, that these events will not be 
repeated under any circumstances, in compliance with Articles 
19 and 21 of the OAS Charter.
    5. We note the President Rafael Correa's decision to 
receive the documentation offered by President Alvaro Uribe and 
which would have been reached the Government of Colombia after 
the events of March 1, so as to enable the Ecuadorian judicial 
officials to investigate possible violations of national law.
    6. We also recall the principles, enshrined in 
international law, of respect for sovereignty, abstention from 
the threat or use of force, and noninterference in the internal 
affairs of other states, underscoring that Article 19 of the 
Charter of the Organization of American States stipulates that 
``[n]o State or group of States has the right to intervene, 
directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the 
internal or external affairs of any other State. The foregoing 
principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other 
form of interference or attempted threat against the 
personality of the State or against its political, economic, 
and cultural elements.''
    7. We reiterate our commitment to peaceful coexistence in 
the region, based on the fundamental precepts of international 
law contained in the charters of the United Nations and the 
Organization of American States, as well as in the essential 
purposes of the Rio Group, in particular the peaceful 
settlement of disputes and its commitment to the preservation 
of peace and the joint search for solutions to conflicts 
affecting the region.
    8. We reiterate our firm commitment to counter threats to 
the security of all states, arising from the action of 
irregular groups or criminal organizations, in particular those 
associated with drug-trafficking activities. Colombia considers 
these criminal organizations as terrorist.
    9. We support the resolution adopted by the Permanent 
Council of the Organization of American States on March 5, 
2008. Likewise, we express our support for the Secretary 
General as he carries out the responsibilities assigned to him 
by said resolution, namely, to head a commission that will 
visit both countries, traveling to the places that the parties 
indicate, to submit a report on its observations to the Meeting 
of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and to propose 
formulas for bringing the two nations closer together.
    10. We urge the parties involved to keep respectful 
channels of communication open and to seek formulas for easing 
    11. Taking into account the valuable tradition of the R!o 
Group, as a fundamental mechanism for the promotion of 
understanding and the search for peace in our region, we 
express our full support for this effort at rapprochement. In 
that regard, we offer the Governments of Colombia and Ecuador 
the good offices of the Group to help bring about a 
satisfactory conclusion, to which end the Group's Troika will 
pay heed to the results of the Meeting of Consultation of 
Ministers of Foreign Affairs.

   Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, March 7, 2008
 Appendix III.--Report of the OAS Commission That Visited Ecuador and 


                                    RC.25/doc. 7/08
                                      16 March 2008
                                  Original: Spanish
                                                     March 17, 2008
                                                   Washington, D.C.


                         I. ORIGIN AND MANDATE

    By a note dated March 2, 2008, the Government of Ecuador 
requested that a special meeting of the OAS Permanent Council 
be convened to consider ``the incursion into Ecuador of 
Colombian armed forces to conduct an operation against members 
of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).''
    The OAS Permanent Council held that special meeting on 
March 4 and 5, 2008. On March 5, it adopted resolution CP/RES. 
930 (1632/08), ``Convocation of the Meeting of Consultation of 
Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Appointment of a Commission,'' 
in which it resolved:

          ``1. To reaffirm the principle that the territory of 
        a state is inviolable and may not be the object, even 
        temporarily, of military occupation or of other 
        measures of force taken by another State, directly or 
        indirectly, on any grounds whatsoever.
          ``2. To constitute a commission, headed by the 
        Secretary General and composed of four ambassadors 
        designated by him, to visit both countries, traveling 
        to the places that the parties indicate, to submit the 
        corresponding report to the Meeting of Consultation of 
        Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and to propose formulas 
        for bringing the two nations closer together.
          ``3. To convene, under the provisions of Articles 61, 
        62, and 63 of the Charter of the Organization of 
        American States, a Meeting of Consultation of Ministers 
        of Foreign Affairs, to be held on Monday, March 17, 
        2008, at OAS headquarters, to examine the facts and 
        make pertinent recommendations.''

    [See Annex 1--OAS Permanent Council resolution CP/RES. 930 

    Pursuant to operative paragraph 2 of that resolution, the 
OAS Secretary General invited the following four permanent 
representatives to the OAS to serve on the Commission: 
Ambassador Rodolfo Gil from Argentina, Ambassador Osmar Chohfi 
from Brazil, Ambassador Aristides Royo from Panama, y 
Ambassador Maria Zavala from Peru. In addition, the Ambassador 
from The Bahamas, Cornelius Smith, was part of the Commission 
in his capacity as Chair of the OAS Permanent Council.
    The Commission departed from Washington, D.C., in the early 
morning of March 9 in a Brazilian Armed Force aircraft that the 
Government of Brazil had made available for that purpose. The 
Commission began its work in Ecuador, on March 9 and 10. On 
March 10 at night it traveled to Colombia. Then, on March 12 in 
the afternoon, it set out on its return journey to Washington. 
As established in the Permanent Council resolution, the 
Commission visited the places and held the meetings proposed to 
it by each of the governments of the states concerned.
    The Commission would like to express its appreciation for 
the broad cooperation that the officials of both governments 
extended to it and for all the information provided to enable 
it to carry out its mandate. Likewise, it thanks the 
Governments of the Republic of Colombia and the Republic of 
Ecuador for providing the delegation with hospitality and 
transportation in each of the countries.
    The Commission also wishes to express its appreciation to 
the Government of Brazil for providing a Brazilian Armed Force 
aircraft enabling it to travel from Washington, D.C., to the 
capitals of Colombia and Ecuador and thus carry out the mission 
entrusted to it. This made it possible for the Commission to 
travel to both countries in accordance with its established 
agenda and to return to Washington.
    It should be mentioned that during the time period between 
the adoption of the OAS Permanent Council resolution and the 
start of the Commission's mission, the XX Summit of the Rio 
Group was held in the Dominican Republic, on March 7, 2008. At 
that meeting, the Heads of State discussed tensions in the 
region extensively. Following that discussion, they adopted a 
resolution supporting the work entrusted to the Commission by 
the OAS [See Annex 2--Declaration of the Heads of State and 
Government of the Rio Group on the recent events between 
Ecuador and Colombia].
    It bears noting that the Secretary-General of the United 
Nations, Ban Ki-moon, publicly expressed that organization's 
support for the efforts of the OAS to bring about a 
rapprochement between Ecuador and Colombia. In that regard, in 
a press release dated March 6, the United Nations Secretary-
General extended his full support for the mediating efforts of 
the Organization of American States to address the crisis 
between Colombia and Ecuador and said that the resolution 
adopted by the OAS Permanent Council on that topic ``provides 
(an) impartial mechanism to clarify events and offers both 
countries a path to resolve their differences peacefully and 
cooperatively.'' [See Annex 3--United Nations Press Release.]

                          II. VISIT TO ECUADOR

    Upon its arrival in the country, as set out in its agenda, 
the Commission met with the President of the Republic of 
Ecuador, Rafael Correa; members of his cabinet; and other 
senior government officials. [See Annex 4--Agenda in Ecuador]. 
President Correa expressed his appreciation to the OAS and the 
Commission for the speed with which the latter had initiated 
its work. He explained that the incident had been resolved at 
the Rio Group Summit from a political point of view and that, 
as a result, tensions between the two governments had started 
to abate, even though it would be very difficult for him, from 
a personal point of view, to rebuild trust in his Colombian 
counterpart. However, he reiterated that it was essential to 
ascertain the truth about what had occurred with regard to all 
facets of the Colombian military incursion and to determine 
whether international humanitarian law had been complied with. 
In that connection, he emphasized that the Commission's work 
was important because it would make it possible to verify what 
had happened on March 1 and, on that basis, to propose 
mechanisms or measures to avoid its recurrence in the future.
    President Correa raised a few specific concerns about the 
incident: (1) whether the bombing took place during a flyover 
of Ecuadorian territory; (2) what type of aircraft and 
technology was used for it; (3) how long the Colombian Air 
Force incursion into Ecuadorian territory lasted; (4) how the 
presence of Luis Edgar Devia Silva, alias ``Raul Reyes,'' was 
detected and why he was put down in Ecuadorian territory; (5) 
what the condition was of the bodies of the deceased members of 
the FARC found in the camp; and (6) as some of those who had 
died had bullet wounds in the back and had been shot at close 
range, whether the rules of international humanitarian law were 
    With regard to the operations of the Binational Border 
Commission between the Republic of Ecuador and the Republic of 
Colombia (COMBIFRON), President Correa expressed his strong 
desire to see that body reactivated and strengthened so that 
diverse border security matters could be resolved in that 
context.\1\ Lastly, a video was shown depicting the state of 
the FARC camp when the Ecuadorian officials and armed force 
officers arrived. [See Annex 6--List of documents received by 
the Commission].
    \1\ COMBIFRON was established on November 21, 1996, by the 
Ministers of National Defense of Ecuador and Colombia. It 
``coordinates, evaluates, and supervises compliance with military and 
police-related border security commitments signed by both countries, 
and proposes mechanisms for helping to solve problems in this area in a 
timely fashion and to strengthen relations between these 
institutions.'' Statute of COMBIFRON.
    After a luncheon hosted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs 
of Ecuador, Maria Isabel Salvador, the Commission held a 
working meeting at which the following presentations were made:

   General information on the border area, operations against 
        irregular groups carried out by the Armed Forces of 
        Ecuador, prior incursions by the Colombian Armed Forces 
        into Ecuadorian territory: presentation by the Minister 
        of National Defense, Mr. Wellington Sandoval
   Military technical report on the bombing site giving 
        detailed information on the locations hit by bombs and 
        the type of bombs used: presentation by Air Force pilot 
        Major Santiago Galarza and Air Force Technical Captain 
        Eduardo Narvaez
   Activities conducted by the Departments of Criminology and 
        Forensic Medicine of the Ecuadorian National Police 
        with regard to the incident in the province of 
        Sucumbios-Angostura sector: presentation by Lieutenant 
        Colonel Milton Zarate of the National Police's 
        Criminology Department
   Legal analysis of the consequences of the Colombian 
        incursion into Ecuadorian territory: presentation by 
        Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Integration 
        (acting)--Jose Valencia
    Documents, which may be found in the annexes, were 
presented on all of these topics. [See Annex 6--List of 
documents received by the Commission].
    The Commission visited the Military Hospital where the 
three injured women-two of them Colombian and the other 
Mexican-who had survived the attack on the camp were 
hospitalized, and questioned two of them. The young Mexican 
woman, Lucia Andrea Morett, was still in a state of shock and 
her version was very confused. The Colombian, Marta, relived 
with great clarity the explosions that awakened her in the 
middle of the night, the moment at which she realized she was 
injured, the noise and the moaning that she heard over a period 
of several hours, the arrival of the helicopters and soldiers, 
her encounter with them when they asked her about Reyes, the 
shooting and screaming, and the announcements that Reyes had 
been found. Later she heard that they had found a computer. The 
soldiers came to her assistance. First they told her that they 
would take her away and they put her on a stretcher, and later 
she felt that they had gone away. Then she waited for several 
hours, with the Mexican woman close by, until the Ecuadorian 
personnel arrived.
    At the end of the day on March 9, the Commission also met 
with Ecuadorian civil society representatives, with the 
participation of the Minister for Policy Coordination, Ricardo 
    On March 10, the Commission took an Ecuadorian Air Force 
(FAE) aircraft to go to Lago Agrio (Nueva Loja) in the province 
of Sucumbios. From there it traveled by helicopter to the scene 
of the events located in the Angostura sector, 1,800 meters 
from the Colombian border. The Commission members went through 
the camp with Ecuadorian officials, who showed them the craters 
produced by the impact of the bombs dropped by Colombian 
aircraft, the trees with bullet marks, the locations of the 
Direct TV antennas, the different areas used by the FARC 
members (kitchen, sleeping areas, a schoolroom, power 
generators, a mess area, a corral, and dug-out pools for 
bathing), and the area where the bodies and injured victims 
were found. The camp is located in a remote forest zone, with 
very tall trees, dense vegetation, and no inhabited areas in 
the vicinity. According to the Minister of Defense of Ecuador, 
Wellington Sandoval, the camp was two to three months old. It 
accommodated some 20 to 30 people and received people who came 
from outside. AK-47 and M-16 rifles and one machine gun were 
found there.
    Before leaving the country, the Secretary General and some 
Commission members held a meeting with the Ecuadorian chapter 
of the Colombia-Ecuador Dialogue Group, sponsored by the Carter 
Center with support from UNDP.
    The Commission also held a press conference for national 
and international media to inform them of the activities 
carried out during its stay in the country. That very night, 
the Commission traveled to Bogota.

                         III. VISIT TO COLOMBIA

    On March 11, the Commission, in keeping with its agreed 
agenda [See Annex 5--Agenda in Colombia] held a working meeting 
with officials from the Ministry of Defense and the Colombian 
Armed Forces in the Military Transport Air Command (CATAM). At 
that meeting, presentations were made on the location of 
radars, communications between Colombia and Ecuador at the 
foreign ministry level and COMBIFRON, and the description of 
Operation Phoenix (Operacion Fenix), which are contained in 
this document, and other information, which may be found in the 
respective annex. [See Annex 6--List of documents received by 
the Commission].
    Following the presentations, the Commission departed for 
Puerto Asis in the Department of Putumayo in a Colombian Air 
Force aircraft. There the Commission held a brief meeting with 
the Government of the Department of Putumayo, with three 
demobilized FARC members and a local Teteye leader. Later on, 
the Commission conducted flew by helicopter over the border 
zone with Ecuador. During the flight, the Colombian officials 
indicated the location in Colombian territory from which, 
according to Colombian officials, the bombing had taken place. 
Later the aircraft landed in an area where illicit coca crops 
are eradicated by hand.
    The Commission then went to Puerto Ospina, located on the 
Colombian bank of the Putumayo River, the natural border 
between the two countries, where it held a working meeting on 
board the river patrol boat ARC ``Pastrana'' with the Colombian 
Government delegation and some of that vessel's officers, who 
reported on the border river patrol's activities. Upon its 
return to the Department of Putumayo, it met with the Minister 
of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Colombia, Fernando 
    On March 12, the Commission had a working breakfast with 
the President of the Republic of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe Velez, 
which was attended by cabinet members and military officers. 
President Alvaro Uribe thanked the Commission for its presence 
and drew attention to the support the OAS extends to the peace 
process in Colombia through the MAPP. He recalled that the 
Colombian Constitution assigned two main responsibilities to 
the President of the Republic: (1) the conduct of international 
relations; and (2) leadership of the Armed Forces of Colombia 
in order to guarantee citizen security. He pointed out that 
respect for territorial sovereignty must be tied to respect for 
citizen security. He expressed the need to move beyond 
political agreements that are necessary to ease tension between 
the two countries, by identifying concrete mechanisms that 
ensure that existing bilateral and cooperation agreements are 
complied with.
    Following the meeting with President Uribe, the OAS 
Secretary General and some Commission members held a brief 
meeting with members of INTERPOL who had come to Colombia at 
the request of that country's government to conduct an expert 
examination of three computers, three USBs (portable memory), 
and three hard disks, which, according to the Colombian 
officials, had been found in the FARC camp. The INTERPOL 
delegates, accompanied by officials from the Administrative 
Security Department (DAS), informed the Commission that the 
results of their investigation would be ready in late April.
    The Secretary General and some Commission members met with 
the Colombian chapter of the Colombia-Ecuador Dialogue Group, 
sponsored by the Carter Center with support from UNDP. Lastly, 
the Commission held a press conference for national and 
international media to inform them of the activities it carried 
out during its stay in the country. That same afternoon, the 
Commission began its return journey to Washington.

                       IV. VERSIONS OF THE FACTS

    At 00:25 hours on Saturday, March 1, 2008, Colombian planes 
bombed a FARC camp located at Angostura, in the province of 
Sucumbios, on Ecuadorian territory, 1,800 meters from the 
frontier with Colombia, which borders on the Department of 
    The Government of Colombia indicates that the operation was 
initially planned to take place in Colombian territory because, 
according to intelligence information, Raul Reyes was going to 
be at that camp that night. At 22:30 hours on Friday, February 
29, they received human intelligence information to the effect 
that Raul Reyes was at a camp located in Ecuadorian territory. 
For that reason they decided to carry out a dual operation on 
both of the identified camps. The two operations were carried 
out using different planes. During its flight over the area, 
the Commission was shown the location of the camp on Colombian 
territory and a map showing where the bombs were released [See 
Annex 6--List of documents received by the Commission].
    The Government of Ecuador expresses doubts about the--in 
its view--very short period of time in which the Colombian 
authorities decided to carry out the operation and regards it 
as unlikely that it was done on the basis of human intelligence 
data because of the precision of the bombing. The Government of 
Ecuador also states that, according to the investigation 
carried out by its Air Force technical staff, six 500-pound 
GBU12 bombs were dropped by planes flying from South to North 
and four more were dropped by planes flying in a North-South 
direction, from Ecuadorian air space. It also points out that, 
judging by the remains of the bombs found at the camp, their 
delivery required advanced technology, which, they say, the 
Colombian Air Force does not possess.
    For its part, the Colombian Government maintains that 10 
bombs were dropped, which it classified as conventional. It 
also specifies that they were delivered from Colombian air 
space by five Super Tuscan aircraft and three A37 airplanes. 
The A37s dropped GPS-guided bombs, while the five Super Tuscan 
aircraft had sufficient technological capacity to drop bombs on 
targets with a 5-meter margin of error. The Government of 
Colombia adds that, technically, it is possible to verify the 
flight and delivery of the bombs in the information stored in 
radars located in Colombian territory and in the aircraft 
computers. When the Air Force operation was over, Colombian 
military and police flew into Ecuadorian territory in 
helicopters in order to recover the body of ``Raul Reyes,'' 
which was the objective of what was called Operation Phoenix. 
According to what the Government of Colombia went on to say, 
when they were landing on Ecuadorian territory, the Colombian 
military clashed with some members of the FARC who had not been 
killed by the bombs. Having identified the body of ``Raul 
Reyes,'' they proceeded to take it to Colombian territory 
together with the body of a person who, it was presumed, could 
be Guillermo Enrique Torres, alias ``Julian Conrado,'' an 
assumption that was subsequently discarded. They also 
transferred the body of one Colombian soldier killed in the 
operation. Hours later, the Colombian military together with 
personnel from the Public Prosecutor's Office examined the 
material found in the camp and the state of the people found 
    According to information provided by the military 
authorities in Ecuador on March 1 at 06:15., the Colombian 
military authorities informed them that, on that same day, at 
00:30 there had been a clash between the Colombian Armed Forces 
and a Colombian irregular armed group in its territory. Along 
those lines, President Correa said that he had received 
President Uribe's first call informing him that this clash had 
taken place and that it had begun in Colombian territory and 
had been continued in Ecuadorian territory, in a what was 
called a ``hot'' pursuit, resulting in the deaths of 17 
irregular forces, the wounding or capture of 11, and the death 
of one Colombian soldier. The Commander of the Fourth 
``Amazonas'' Jungle Division, having received the information 
from the Colombian side, ordered Jungle Brigade No. 19 Napo to 
go to that location. Because the initially provided coordinates 
were incorrect, that Brigade took longer than expected to 
arrive, which it did, finally, at 13:00 hours on that day. That 
was when the first Ecuadorian military contingent arrived. It 
was followed at 17:40 hours by the Ecuadorian Public Prosecutor 
from Lago Agrio, who on March 3 and 4, ascertained the 
existence of 22 bodies, some wearing only underwear, three 
wounded women, and a number of rifles. If the two bodies found 
by the Colombian Army were added in, the total would be 24 
victims. Added to this is the body buried near the camp found 
on March 7 in a state of decomposition, which, according to the 
forensic information available, has most likely been a victim 
of the bombing a few days earlier. [See Annex 6--List of 
documents received by the Commission].
    The preliminary study by the National Police of Ecuador 
found that there were three sets of causes of death:

          1. From the blast of the explosions.
          2. Mixed cause of death due to the blast and to 
        penetration (with entry and exit orifices) of bullets 
        shot from firearms.
          3. Penetration (with entry and exit orifices) of 
        bullets shot from firearms.

    The different communications exchanged by both parties 
between their government and their military officers on these 
facts are to be found in the documents delivered to the 
Commission and in the press releases issued by the two 
    [See Annex 6--List of documents received by the 


    The Ecuadorian Government has asserted that Colombian 
troops entered Ecuadorian territory without its authorization. 
The Colombian Government acknowledges that fact.
    This incursion of military forces of one State into the 
territory of another, without authorization, violates the 
principle established in Article 21 of the OAS Charter. Article 
21 states:

          The territory of a State is inviolable; it may not be 
        the object, even temporarily, of military occupation or 
        of other measures of force taken by another State, 
        directly or indirectly, on any grounds whatever. No 
        territorial acquisitions or special advantages obtained 
        either by force or by other means of coercion shall be 

    This principle is one of the cornerstones of the 
international legal order and, in particular, the inter-
American legal system, and a principle that from has always 
been indisputably linked to the principle of peaceful 
settlement of controversies between States and cooperation to 
safeguard peace, security, and development.
    Already in 1888, when the Secretary of State of the United 
States of America, invoking the authorization granted by the 
Senate, issued invitations to the First International 
Conference of American States, held in Washington, D.C. from 
1889 to 1890, which later gave rise to the Pan American Union, 
the origin of the OAS, he said that one of the purposes of that 
Conference was to consider:

          First. Measures that shall tend to preserve the peace 
        and promote the prosperity of the several American 
          Seventh. An agreement upon and recommendation for 
        adoption to their respective Governments of a definite 
        plan of arbitration of all questions, disputes, and 
        differences that may now or hereafter exist between 
        them, to the end that all difficulties and disputes 
        between such Nations may be peaceably settled and wars 

    Thus, on April 18, 1890, the Conference adopted a 
resolution on the ``Right of Conquest'' condemning wars of 
conquest and affirming that the insecurity of national 
territory would lead fatally to the ruinous system of armed 
    From then on, the principles of territorial inviolability 
and peaceful settlement of disputes among American States have 
been the cementing factors that have enabled States in the 
Americas to preserve peace in their relations with one another 
like no other region in the world.
    To cite only one example prior to the OAS Charter, one can 
mention the ``Convention on Rights and Duties of States,'' 
adopted at the Seventh International Conference of American 
States (Montevideo, 1933). Among other principles, this 
Convention establishes that:

          Article 8--No state has the right to intervene in the 
        internal or external affairs of another.
          Article 10--The primary interest of states is the 
        conservation of peace. Differences of any nature which 
        arise between them should be settled by recognized 
        pacific methods.
          Article 11--The contracting states definitely 
        establish as the rule of their conduct the precise 
        obligation not to recognize territorial acquisitions or 
        special advantages which have been obtained by force 
        whether this consists in the employment of arms, in 
        threatening diplomatic representations, or in any other 
        effective coercive measure. The territory of a state is 
        inviolable and may not be the object of military 
        occupation nor of other measures of force imposed by 
        another state directly or indirectly or for any motive 
        whatever even temporarily.

    These principles were reaffirmed in 1948 when the OAS 
Charter was drafted. As in Chapter V of the OAS Charter, 
numerous conventions before and after that Charter referred to 
the obligation to peaceably resolve differences between States 
and that has been the path chosen by our States.
    There are also numerous agreements reaffirming the 
importance of cooperation in respecting each State's internal 
legal order. To take just two recent examples, let us recall:

          a. Inter-American Convention against the Illicit 
        Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, 
        Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials 
        (1997, especially its Articles III (Sovereignty), XIII 
        (Exchange of Information), XIV (Cooperation), and XV 
        (Exchange of experience and training), XVI (Technical 
        Assistance), and XVII (Mutual Legal Assistance).
          b. Inter-American Convention against Terrorism 
        (2002), especially its Articles 7 (Cooperation on 
        Border Controls), 8 (Cooperation among Law Enforcement 
        Authorities), and 9 (Mutual Legal Assistance).

    Finally, it is worth pointing out that Article 2.c. of the 
OAS Charter proclaims as one of the Organization's essential 
purposes ``[t]o prevent possible causes of difficulties and to 
ensure the pacific settlement of disputes that may arise among 
the Member States.''
    As for universal instruments, the Charter of the United 
Nations cites among the principles governing its member states 
that of sovereign equality among them and the need to settle 
their disputes by peaceful means, as well as to refrain from 
the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity of 
any state. These principles were then developed in the 
``Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning 
Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance 
with the Charter of the United Nations'' (Resolution 2625 of 
the United Nations General Assembly in 1970), particularly in 
reference to the principle of the sovereign equality of states, 
pointing out that ``the territorial integrity and political 
independence of the State are inviolable.''
    The United Nations Convention against Transnational 
Organized Crime (Palermo Convention) establishes, in its 
Article 4, that:

          1. States Parties shall carry out their obligations 
        under this Convention in a manner consistent with the 
        principles of sovereign equality and territorial 
        integrity of States and that of non-intervention in the 
        domestic affairs of other States.
          2. Nothing in this Convention entitles a State Party 
        to undertake in the territory of another State the 
        exercise of jurisdiction and performance of functions 
        that are reserved exclusively for the authorities of 
        that other State by its domestic law.

                            VI. CONCLUSIONS

    On the morning of Saturday, March 1, 2008, military forces 
and police personnel of Colombia entered the territory of 
Ecuador, in the province of Sucumb!os, without the express 
consent of the Government of Ecuador to carry out an operation 
against members of an irregular group of the Revolutionary 
Armed Forces of Colombia who were clandestinely encamped on the 
Ecuadorian side of the border.
    That act constitutes a violation of the sovereignty and 
territorial integrity of Ecuador and of principles of 
international law, as indicated in the Declaration of the Heads 
of State and Government of the Rio Group on this matter and in 
resolution CP/RES. 930 (1632/08), ``Convocation of the Meeting 
of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Appointment 
of a Commission.''
    At the XX Summit of the Rio Group, President Alvaro Uribe 
pledged, on behalf of his country, that these events would not 
be repeated in the future under any circumstances, in 
compliance with Articles 19 and 21 of the OAS Charter.
    Accordingly and taking into account the information that 
this Commission received from the two governments during its 
visit, the Commission has reached the following conclusions:

          1. The ties of trust between the Governments of 
        Colombia and Ecuador have been seriously damaged.
          2. The Ecuadorian and Colombian versions of the 
        manner in which the incursion took place are 
          3. The situation in the border area between Ecuador 
        and Colombia is complex and difficult in terms of 
        geographical aspects, territorial control, 
        communications, and the economic and social situation, 
        among other factors.

                          VII. RECOMMENDATIONS

    Operative paragraph 2 of resolution CP/RES. 930 established 
that the Commission headed by the OAS Secretary General should 
visit both countries, traveling to the places that the parties 
indicate, submit the corresponding report to the Meeting of 
Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and propose 
formulas for bringing the two nations closer together.
    Accordingly, chapters II and III of this report provide a 
detailed report on those visits. On the basis of the 
aforementioned conclusions, the Commission suggests or proposes 
the following recommendations:

          1. The restoration of diplomatic relations between 
        Colombia and Ecuador and reactivation of existing 
        political consultation mechanisms.
          2. The formation of an OAS mission for follow-up on 
        and verification of commitments assumed and agreements 
        reached by the two countries for cooperation on border 
        issues and other matters of common interest.
          3. The strengthening of border mechanisms for 
        dialogue and cooperation, and study of a possible 
        bilateral early-warning system.
          4. The development, with the support of international 
        organizations and entities like the IDB, the CAF (ADC), 
        and the UNDP, among others, of border area cooperation 
        and integration programs, including environmental 
          5. The provision of incentives to dialogue among 
        civil society organizations in the two countries.
          6. The strengthening of relations among business 
        organizations of the two countries, to identify ways to 
        increase bilateral trade, including border-area trade.
          In this context, the Commission deems it especially 
        important to develop confidence-building measures 
        between the two countries by means of periodic 
        consultations and meetings among officials responsible 
        for border control and security.
    Annex 1.--OAS Permanent Council resolution

    Annex 2.--Declaration of the Heads of State and Government 
of the Rio Group on the recent events between Ecuador and 

    Annex 3.--Press Release by the United Nations Secretary-

    Annex 4.--Agenda in Ecuador

    Annex 5.--Agenda in Colombia

    Annex 6.--List of documents provided to the OAS Commission 
by the officials of both countries solely for the preparation 
of this report

                       Appendix IV.--Plan Ecuador


  Appendix V.--FARC's Presence on the Ecuadorean and Colombian Border


          Source: Ecuadorean Ministry of Defense, March 2008.

Appendix VI.--Permanent Ecuadorean Military Presence on the Ecuadorean 
                          and Colombian Border


          Source: Ecuadorean Ministry of Defense, March 2008.

  Appendix VII.--Discussions With Individuals in Ecuador and Colombia



Ecuadorean Government Officials
    Under Secretary for Bilateral Affairs, Diego Stacy,
    Director General for North America, Santiago Chavez, 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    Minister of Government and Police, Fernando Bustamante
    Under Secretary General, Juan Sebastian Roldan
    Chief of Staff, David Vaca for Minister Bustamante
    Under Secretary General of Defense, Miguel Carvajal
    Under Secretary of National Defense, Jorge Pena
Ecuadorean Opinion Leaders
    Berta Garcia, Catholic University, Military Analyst
    Cesar Montufar, Simon Bolivar Andina University, Political 
    Franklin Barriga Lopez, Academic Director of Ecuadorian 
Institute of Studies of International Relations, Journalist
United States Department of State, U.S. Embassy Quito, Ecuador
    Linda Jewell, U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador (DAS, POL, RA, 


Colombian Government Officials
    Vice Minister of Defense, Juan Carlos Pinzon
    Brigadier General, Rafael Parra, Deputy Director, Colombian 
National Police
    Brigadier General, Alvaro Caro, Director Counternarcotics, 
Colombian National Police
    Minister of Trade, Luis Guillermo Plata
United States Department of State, U.S. Embassy Bogota, Colombia
    William Brownfield, U.S. Ambassador to Colombia (DAS, POL,