WASHINGTON — The Organization of American States issued a compromise resolution Wednesday that said Colombia had violated Ecuador's "territorial integrity'' by attacking a left-wing guerrilla base in Ecuador.
But the resolution, backed by Venezuela and several other nations, stopped short of condemning Bogota for the March 1 raid, which killed a top rebel commander and led to the capture of what Colombia has said are computer documents that link the guerrillas to the governments of Venezuela and Ecuador.
Meanwhile, the U.S.'s top-ranking diplomat for Latin America told a House committee that Colombia has promised soon to share the hard drives from the captured computers with the United States.
Thomas Shannon, the assistant secretary of state for Interamerican affairs, said Colombia has said that the seized hard drives contain documents that prove links between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Ecuadroean President Rafael Correa.
Lawmakers reacted angrily to reports on some of the alleged contents of the hard disc, which suggest that Chavez offered the guerrilla group $300 million. But Shannon said that the United States wants Ecuador and Venezuela to "work together, establish protocols'' to fight the FARC.
At the OAS, Ecuador had demanded an explicit condemnation of Colombia, but Colombia and the United States objected, saying the FARC uses bases in neighboring nations and was fair game there.
The final resolution said the attack "constitutes a violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ecuador and of principles of international law.'' But it did not condemn Colombia explicitly.
Citing hemispheric treaties, the text says a country's territory is "inviolable'' and could not be "even temporarily'' subject to a "military occupation or of other measures of force taken by another State, directly or indirectly, on any grounds whatsoever.''
Ecuador said the Colombians bombed the base from inside Ecuadorean airspace and then sent ground troops to inspect the damage and recover bodies and evidence. The Colombians admitted to sending in ground troops but said the bombing was carried out from Colombia.
The OAS also set March 17 as the date for a foreign ministers meeting in Washington "to examine the facts and make the pertinent recommendations,'' the resolution added.
Colombian officials say that while they regret the incident, they want Ecuador and Venezuela to shut down FARC bases in their countries.
OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza and up to four OAS ambassadors will travel to Ecuador and Colombia and draft a report that will "propose formulas for bringing the two nations closer together.''
In Congress, the conflict sparked both anger and caution.
"This guy is really an enemy of the United States,'' said Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), adding that he hoped the administration had "some kind of plan to deal with this.''
The subcommittee's chairman, however, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) asked that the United States continue to work with Ecuadorean President Correa, a close Chavez ally.
"I am convinced that he is someone with whom the United States can and should work,'' he said. Shannon said the United States was reaching out to Correa.
Florida Republican Rep. Connie Mack issued a statement demanding that the State Department declare Venezuela a state sponsor of terrorism. That designation would ban arms sales and place other restrictions on Venezuela, but would have little practical effect because Venezuela has already been sanctioned under other designations.