Ecuador Accuses US of Helping Colombia Assassinate FARC Leader

The government of Ecuador has just released a report finding that the US helped Colombia assassinate FARC leader Raul Reyes on its soil in 2008.

A Colombian attack on a rebel camp in Ecuador in March 2008 was carried out with support from US forces based in Ecuador, a new report alleges.

The report was prepared for the Ecuadorian government.

It says that US intelligence provided from a base within Ecuador was used in the execution of the attack.

The report comes at a bad time as Ecuador and Colombia were just beginning to re-establish diplomatic relations.

Now, the Beeb talks about the bad timing of this report for blossoming Ecuador-Colombian relations.

But let’s talk about the timing of the report given other recent revelations about US involvement–or rather, Blackwater involvement–in assassinations of late.

Mind you, there is no hint from coverage of the report that contractors were involved in this assassination (I’m looking for the report now). And it was already pretty obvious that we were involved in this and other operations with Colombia against FARC. But I do find the explicit accusations about US involvement in assassinations to be interesting timing.

Update: Okay, after having read some more detailed Spanish stories on this, they’re alleging primarily that the US provided the SIGINT for the attack out of their base in Colombia at Manta. The stories emphasize that the actual troops involved were Colombian.  Another report rules out involvement of US planes because those at Manta don’t have the capabilities for such a mission.

19 replies
  1. BoxTurtle says:

    This should shock no one. It was only a small step from AQ to drug lords. Or was it from drug lords to AQ? Wonder how many accidents we were involved in before 9/11?

    Boxturtle (Courts and judges are such inconvienent things)

    • bobschacht says:

      On other recent threads somewhere on FDL, the importance of drug money for bailing out the economy last year has been raised– a year ago and more, most of the liquid capital available for immediate bail-out purposes, or so it has been claimed, was drug money.

      So, who do we owe more money to? China, or the drug lords?

      Bob in AZ

      • Hmmm says:

        My question on that, which I don’t remember anyone answering yet, is what exactly did the mobsters get in return for putting that money in? Just interest on short-term loans? Or ownership or control of companies or properties?

        • Jeff Kaye says:

          I think Vito Corleone would answered that simply: “Respect.”

          And then one day, they will come calling for a favor, and another and another and another… After awhile, they will have “acceptance.”

          Then you have a new, enlarged ruling class. This is how ruling classes have enlarged over the centuries. Not to push the Roman Empire analogies too much, but there’s a good discussion of how the old Roman upper class absorbed the barbarian conquerers, or vice versa! in Bryant Ward-Perkins’ The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization. Of course, this melding was a result of the weakness and decay of the Roman nobility.

  2. emptywheel says:

    And since we’re discussing our “cooperation” with Colombia and terrorism, it’s probably a good time to remind all that our Attorney General get Chiquita execs off of charges that they were materially supporting right wing terrorists.

    • BoxTurtle says:

      He successfully defended his clients against charges that were incorrectly brought and insufficiently documented. That’s all.

      Boxturtle (Still waiting for that job offer, Mr. Holder)

    • MartyDidier says:

      Be aware that Chiquita and Drummond plus afew more were companies who were directly involved with my ex-wifes family with laundering drug money into property with the Big Banks. I’ve mentioned many times that the family I was in for more than 26 years are directly involved with huge drug distribution world wide. Chiquita was one of the MAIN companies involved. Everyone would be surprised to learn who else were involved too.

      Meet the family:
      Mexico drug plane used for US ‘rendition’ flights: report Sep 4, 2008

      Clyde O’Connor is family. He is my ex-sister-in-law’s brother and her husband is Clyde’s business partner and money man. Bruce’s connections with the CIA has earned him being a CIA Asset to escape prosecution for anything even if it involved murder. Someone ought to count how many there were. It’s important to know that Ken Adreani, Bruce’s younger brother was murdered in 1997 and covered up to look as it was a normal occurrance. Also, their plane was known to be involved in Rendition flights, Human Organ flights and shipping of Black Market Nuclear Materials world wide.

      Again, Chiguita was a Hot topic while I was in the family. If you research who served on the board of directors for the last decade you’d be surprised…. It’s again the same crew and Bruce Adreani knows many of these people.

      Realize that the Big Banks are directly involved in the Drug system. Chicago gets a $100 million sized shipment of cocaine each week. The proceeds are supporting a White House Coup similar to what they tried back in 1933 called the Business Plot. Only that failed. Bruce Adreani talked openly in the 90’s about 911 and a series of operations that would follow. One was in detail about the Economic Collapse.

      Marty Didier
      NRothbrook, IL

      • Minnesotachuck says:

        I’ve been digging in depth into the Kennedy assassinations the last few months (e.g. Robert Morrow, Dick Russell, etc.) and one thing that comes through loud and clear is that the intelligence community has had wide and deep connections to organized crime since OSS days during WWII.

      • laurastrand says:

        Of course you are correct – we are all BCCI now. Money’s gotta launder somewhere. Gore Vidal has written extensively about the entanglement of US corporate interests in central and south America. Ditry wars will always need funding. And that’s also why we are sending DEA agents into Afghanistan instead of just buying up all the opium and using it for palliative care. In my opinion. Blowback will be a bitch.

  3. Gitcheegumee says:

    Jeremy Scahill has written about Dyncorps mercenaries in Colombia.

    Here’s another story about Dyncorps from a year ago:

    Did U.S. Mercenaries Bomb the FARC Encampment in Ecuador?

    by Tom Burghardt

    Global Research, March 23, 2008
    Antifascist Calling…

    As diplomatic and military fallout from the March 1 Colombian raid into Ecuador escalate regional tensions, allegations from Ecuadorean sources link the unprovoked attack to the U.S. Manta airbase and charge the American mercenary firm DynCorp with piloting the planes that killed FARC commander Raúl Reyes and 24 others.

    According to investigative journalist Kintto Lucas,

    A high-level Ecuadorean military officer, who preferred to remain anonymous, told IPS that “a large proportion of senior officers” in Ecuador share “the conviction that the United States was an accomplice in the attack” launched Mar. 1 by the Colombian military on a FARC…camp in Ecuador, near the Colombian border.

    “Since Plan Colombia was launched in 2000, a strategic alliance between the United States and Colombia has taken shape, first to combat the insurgents and later to involve neighbouring countries in that war,” said the officer. “What is happening today is a consequence of that.” (“Ecuador: Manta Air Base Tied to Colombian Raid on FARC Camp,” Inter Press Service, March 21, 2008

    Excerpt,link to follow)

  4. Gitcheegumee says:

    Did U.S. Mercenaries Bomb the FARC Encampment in Ecuador?Mar 23, 2008 … As a key “private partner” of Plan Colombia, DynCorp’s aerial spraying … The controversial mercenary outfit, like its better-known cousin, … – Cached – Similar

    Narco News Reports What the NY Times’ Juan Forero Did NotThe mercenaries work for DynCorp, the top supplier of roustabout pilots and soldiers of fortune to do the dirty work of Plan Colombia. … – Similar

  5. Leen says:


    someone just called Lieberman “the Balloon Dad Senator” can you imagine Lieberman’s face on a Balloon the size of the one that floated in the skies of Colorado? the “balloon Senator” the unleashing of the “balloon Senator” by the Insurance Companies.

    hope snl picks up on that image

  6. Jeff Kaye says:

    Thanks for keeping this issue alive. It’s obvious for all the world to see that the “ban” on assassinations by U.S. forces is all but void now.

    By opening that Pandora’s box, we have entered a period of world history that is very unstable. No one, really, will now be safe. I don’t say that in a fashion whereby any particular person is targeted that I know of, or that individuals should rush out and buy a gun for protection. I mean that the disorder and instability introduced into world public affairs threatens us all, via retributive political murders, lack of adherence to any international, and increasingly, domestic law, and a wild-west attitude towards international finance.

    Things have been devolving on the world scene for some time now. The Bush-Cheney regime accelerated this, and the Obama administration is either complicit at this point, or totally clueless… both frightening scenarios.

    Meanwhile, if one wishes to revisit the good old bad old days, let’s reminisce on how taxpayer dollars were spent to write CIA assassination manuals, circa 1953. (What follows is no joke, but from the archives kept at George Washington University.)

    Assassination is an extreme measure not normally used in clandestine operations. It should be assumed that it will never be ordered or authorized by any U.S. Headquarters, though the latter may in rare instances agree to its execution by membe rs of an associated foreign service. This reticence is partly due to the necessity for committing communications to paper. No assassination instructions should ever be written or recorded. Consequently, the decision to employ this technique must nearly always be reached in the field, at the area where the act will take place. Decision and instructions should be confined to an absolute minimum of persons. Ideally, only one person will be involved. No report may be made, but usually the act will be pr operly covered by normal news services, whose output is available to all concerned….

    2. Accidents.

    For secret assassination, either simple or chase, the contrived accident is the most effective technique. When successfully executed, it causes little excitement and is only casually investigated.

    The most efficient accident, in simple assassination, is a fall of 75 feet or more onto a hard surface. Elevator shafts, stair wells, unscreened windows and bridges will serve. Bridge falls into water are not reliable. In simple cases a private meeting with the subject may be arranged at a properly-cased location. The act may be executed by sudden, vigorous [excised] of the ankles, tipping the subject over the edge. If the assassin immediately sets up an outcry, playing the “horrified wit ness”, no alibi or surreptitious withdrawal is necessary. In chase cases it will usually be necessary to stun or drug the subject before dropping him. Care is required to insure that no wound or condition not attributable to the fall is discernible after death.

    Falls into the sea or swiftly flowing rivers may suffice if the subject cannot swim. It will be more reliable if the assassin can arrange to attempt rescue, as he can thus be sure of the subject’s death and at the same time establish a workable al ibi.

    If the subject’s personal habits make it feasible, alcohol may be used [2 words excised] to prepare him for a contrived accident of any kind.

    If interested, one can go read the whole macabre document. Of course, this was before the age of Predator and Reaper, and before the planning of “new generations of tiny ‘nano’ drones which can fly after their prey like a killer bee through an open window.” (from Jane Mayer’s article, “The Predator War”)

    God help us all, because the leaders of this country went over the edge some years ago, and the current batch of leaders have no idea how to bring us back to relative safety again, and even more likely, lack the will.

  7. Gitcheegumee says:

    Cuban Leader Says U.S.-Colombian Military Base Deal is “Aggression”
    Global Research, December 14, 2009
    Russian Information Agency Novosti

    HAVANA: U.S. plans to dispatch its troops at military bases in Colombia were an “act of aggression” against all Latin American states, Cuban leader Raul Castro has said.

    The 10-year deal signed between the United States and Colombia on October 30 during a brief closed-door ceremony in Bogota envisions the deployment of some 800 U.S. military personnel and 600 civilian contractors at seven military bases in Colombia.

    “The deployment of [U.S.] military bases in the region is…an act of aggression against Latin America and the Caribbean,” Castro told the summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America, ALBA on Sunday.

    ALBA, or the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, was founded by former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez in 2005 and now comprises nine members – Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda.

    Castro added that the U.S. was seeking to “suppress by all means the territory that they always considered their backyard.”

  8. Gitcheegumee says: – Centre for Research on GlobalizationAn independent research and media group of progressive writers, scholars and activists committed to curbing the tide of “globalisation” and “disarming” the … – Cached – Similar

  9. Nell says:

    Emptywheel [main post]: they’re alleging primarily that the US provided the SIGINT for the attack out of their base in Colombia at Manta. The stories emphasize that the actual troops involved were Colombian. Another report rules out involvement of US planes because those at Manta don’t have the capabilities for such a mission.

    That should be out of their base in Ecuador at Manta.

    That is, the Ecuadorean air base at Manta at which the U.S. for decades was a “guest” (until the Ecuadoreans decided recently not to renew the invitation), as distinct from a U.S. base.

    The “guest” status is a marvelous technicality. Among other things, it allows for deniability. For instance, at Soto Cano airbase in Honduras: at five o’clock on one Sunday morning this past June, the elected president of the country was taken there at gunpoint by Honduran military, from where he was flown to Costa Rica and dumped onto the tarmac. The U.S. military stationed at Soto Cano claimed not only to have had nothing to do with that flight, but not to have even known about it. Admittedly, in Honduras no one is working very hard to maintain the pretense that the U.S. military is some sort of temporary guest. They’re so confident of their welcome that during the Bush administration they built permanent housing to replace the hooches of the contra war era. And they (the U.S. high command) are a big part of the reason the Obama administration and the Clinton State Dept. refused to formally declare the Honduran coup a military coup — because doing so would have required U.S. personnel to leave Soto Cano. I say ‘personnel’ advisedly because there are contractors there, too.

    The seven bases at which Colombia will “host” the U.S. will stretch the technical fiction in a new way. Jeff Kaye is absolutely right about the instability ahead.

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