Colombia border conflict resolved – on the surface
Ties between Venezuela and Colombia were restored but tensions appear to linger.
Colombia, a close US ally, and Venezuela, a rival of Washington, have been locked in a bitter dispute since March 1, when Colombian troops attacked a training camp inside Ecuador suspected to be used by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a Colombian guerrilla group. Colombia claimed the strike was justified because it resulted in the death of a FARC leader. But President Hugo Chávez, who has sympathized with FARC rebels, viewed the strike as a violation of Ecuadorean sovereignty, the Associated Press reports.
Tensions flared when Venezuela expelled the Colombian ambassador and moved troops to the border with Colombia, Reuters reported.
At issue was more than just the cross-border raid, Time reports.
Despite the reconciliation, the ties appear to be fragile, Reuters reports.
The Associated Press adds that restored diplomatic relations do not spell an end to the conflict.
Even as the dispute appeared to settle down, Colombia released documents that it claims show that Venezuela's and Ecuador's leaders conspired with the FARC over a period of months, reports the Associated Press, citing a report in the Spanish language news magazine Semana. Both countries have questioned the legitimacy of the documents.
Locals in Ecuador say FARC rebels frequently set up camps in the thick jungle that covers the area, reports The Christian Science Monitor. Residents of western Venezuelan said the government's pledge to crack down on groups terrorizing the border was not genuine, reports the McClatchy News Service reports.