Files tie FARC rebels to Hugo Chavez, Rafael Correa

Colombia’s FARC rebels financed the presidential campaign of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa and had such deep ties with Venezuela’s government that they may have carried out political assassinations on its behalf, according to a two-year analysis of thousands of the guerrilla group’s archives.

On Tuesday, London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies launched “The FARC Files: Venezuela, Ecuador and the Secret Archive of ‘Raul Reyes.’” The 240-page study is a peek into the thousands of documents that were retrieved from the hard drives of Reyes — the FARC’s second in command — after Colombian authorities raided his Ecuadorean camp in 2008.

Much of the information is not new, but it does provide a deeper look into the workings of one of the region’s oldest and most resilient guerrilla groups.

The revelations come at a time when relations between Colombia and its neighbors have improved dramatically. But the fresh allegations about how Venezuela and Ecuador worked to undermine Colombia’s fight against the FARC could prove incendiary.

Venezuela’s Ministry of Communications and Ecuador’s presidency did not immediately comment on the story. But the news was making headlines throughout the region.

The IISS said it was given the files by Colombia’s previous administration. The documents, which were on eight hard drives, were authenticated by Interpol before being turned over to the London-based think-tank for analysis.

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