Ecuador: The Aftermath of the Border Crisis

Rumichaca International Bridge
Picture by i-ren ishii and used under Creative Commons license.

The decision taken at the Rio Summit benefits the people living in the three countries involved: Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela, but the governments are only slowly returning their relations back to how they were before the incident. The Organization of American States (OAS) has already handed out its resolution and it seems Ecuadorean government is happy with this decision, and even though President Correa has personally said that crisis between these two brother countries has ended, diplomatic relationships are still on hold. Why? Because the Ecuadorean government thinks that Colombia is still untrustworthy. While President Uribe says he wants peace in the region while shaking hands with Correa, the Colombian media is not backing what Uribe says. The newspaper El Tiempo showed a picture with the supposed Ecuadorean Defense Minister and FARC's late leader Raúl Reyes. However, it was later revealed that the other person was not the Ecuadorean official, rather a leader from an Argentine leader from the Communist Party. This event has been widely discussed in Ecuador and the newspaper wrote an editorial apologizing for the mistake that damaged the international image of Ecuador.

Nelson Piedra the author of a blog in Southern Ecuador [es] writes about this huge mistake:

Es más rápido caer por mentiroso que por delincuente, la estrategia de Bogotá se cayó, ya que desde Buenos Aires el secretario del partido comunista de Argentina, Patricio Echegaray, salió a decir que la persona de la foto es él y no Larrea. Probado el error deliberado y mala intención de la foto, el Tiempo de Bogotá debió pedir disculpas a través de un editorial titulado “La foto que no era”. Su explicación “un error lamentable” y reconoce que “falló en sus procedimientos de verificación”.

It is easier to get caught for being a liar, than for being a deliquent. Bogotá's strategy failed, when the secretary of the Communist Party in Argentina, Patricio Echegaray, came out to say that he was the one in the photo and not Larrea (the Ecuador official). With the deliberate error and malicious intent of the photo proven wrong, El Tiempo of Bogota had to apologize through an editorial title “The photo that never was.” His explanation was that it was “an unfortunate error” and recognizes that “it failed in its verification procedures.”

Based in the capital city of Quito is Libertad Ecuador [es] which is maintained by Libertario and whose self-professed purpose is to pursue freedom in Ecuador from all angles. He explains who's responsible for all this crisis:

La única y gran culpable de la existencia de las FARC, paramilitares y bandas de narcotraficantes asesinos es la famosa “Guerra” contra las drogas, que da mas incentivos a los narcoterroristas para continuar con el tráfico. Los precios suben pero el consumo no; las ganancias se disparan y los escrúpulos de las traficantes desaparecen.

The only and great culprit of the existence of the FARC, the paramilitaries and gangs of assassain drug dealers is the famous “War” against drugs, which gives more incentives to the narcoterrorists to continue with the traffic. The prices are raised, but the consumption does not; the profits go up and the scruples of the dealers disappear

Another multi-authored blog is Cambiemos Ecuador [es] and one of its reporters Andres, says that after the conflict and his travels around Latin America, President Correa just opened up a Pandora's Box:

Hemos abierto la caja de pandora, el cuidar la frontera con Colombia es peligroso y cuesta a nuestro estado mucho dinero. Así como Colombia estableció un plan concreto, Plan Colombia y lo vendió a otras naciones, así nuestro gobierno debe, en lugar de extender la mano y esperar limosnas, preparar un plan con compromisos, que busque comprometer a otros gobiernos con apoyo diplomático, económico y de entrenamiento. Esto es, si realmente queremos sacar a las FARC de Ecuador. Ahora si queremos que se muden para acá, entonces sigamos actuando como hasta ahora.

We have opened a Pandora's box, taking care of the border with Colombia is dangerous and it costs a lot of money for our state. As Colombia established a concrete plan, Plan Colombia and sold it to other nations, so should our government, instead of extending the hand and expecting handouts, we should prepare a plan with commitments, which seeks to engage other governments with diplomatic, economic and training support. That is, if we really want to get to the FARC out of Ecuador. Now, if we want them to relocate here, then let's continue acting like we have been doing up to now.

And everyone thought the relations with Colombia were back to normal, some government officials are not ready to lower the tone. The Ecuadoran ambassador in Colombia had some harsh words saying that their citizens have been “kidnapped and assasinated by the (Colombian) army or paramilitary, then later given back disguised as guerrillas, making them believe the opposite.” And the first line in a story in El Comercio, one of the Ecuador's leading newspaper printed this headline after the OAS and meeting in the Dominican Republic, indicating: “The verbal exchanges between the governments of Ecuador and Colombia have risen in tone,” indicating that this is far from over.

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