Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Spain Probes ETA-FARC Connection

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Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a message to Venezuela on Tuesday, demanding an explanation from the government for its alleged support of an alliance between Basque separatist group ETA and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC).  

On Monday, Spanish High Court Judge Eloy Velasco accused Venezuela of helping the two groups plot attacks on Spanish soil and issued international arrest warrants for six alleged ETA members and seven Colombians thought to be members of the FARC.  The Venezuelan government facilitated communication between the two groups, the Court found, leading to the FARC asking ETA for help coordinating an assassination of Colombian officials visiting Spain, including Colombian president Álvaro Uribe.

Velasco’s 26-page report outlines the contacts ETA is believed to have in Venezuela, and says the groups also collaborated on an assassination plot of former Colombian President Andrés Pastrana in 2000.

A statement from the Venezuelan government said the accusations were politically motivated.  At a press conference in Germany, Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said the Spanish government awaited an explanation from Venezuela before pursuing any further action. 

Tags: FARC, Hugo Chavez, Spain, transnational terrorism
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