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CARACAS, Monday March 01, 2010 | Update
 
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World Affairs
Spanish judge accuses Venezuela of "cooperating" with ETA-FARC alliance
  EL UNIVERSAL
Monday March 01, 2010  10:56 AM


Judge Eloy Velasco, of the Spanish High Court, accused the government of President Hugo Chávez of cooperating with an alleged alliance between the Basque separatist group ETA and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Under such alliance, the two armed groups allegedly plotted to try to assassinate Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, his predecessor Andrés Pastrana and other top Colombian officials, according to the judge, DPA reported.

Velasco wrote in the indictment that "there are inquiries in this proceeding that demonstrate the Venezuelan government's cooperation with the illicit collaboration between FARC and ETA."

The judge pointed to ETA suspect Arturo Cubillas Fontán, who is married to a Venezuelan citizen who has held several government posts in Venezuela since Hugo Chávez came to power in 1999. Cubillas Fontán was appointed in 2005 as director at the Office of Management and Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Lands in Venezuela.

Velasco prosecuted seven alleged members of FARC and six alleged ETA members, including Cubillas Fontán, for conspiracy to commit murder in Spain against Uribe, Pastrana and other top Colombian officials.

The Spanish judge said that Cubillas Fontán is "responsible" for the ETA group in that region of the hemisphere since 1999. He is the link between ETA and the FARC.

Velasco also charged alleged ETA suspects José Ignacio Echarte Urbieta, Ignacio Domínguez Achalandabaso, José María Zaldua, José Angel Urtiaga Martínez and José Miguel Arrugaeta San Emeterio with the crimes of possession of explosives.

He also charged suspect FARC members Emiro del Carmen Ropero, Remedios García, Luciano Martín, Omar Arturo Zabala, Ramón Vargas, Victor Salazar and Edgar Gustavo Navarro Morales and their so-called "foreign Minister" Rodrigo Granda with collaboration with terrorist groups.

The defendants have been accused of several crimes, including conspiracy to commit terrorist acts, possession of explosives and collaboration with terrorist groups.

According to the accusation filed by Judge Velasco, two members of FARC, Navarro Morales and Vargas Salazar, moved to Spain in 2000 and sought help from ETA to locate Pastrana, who lived in Madrid. Then they tried to monitor Uribe during his visits to Spain.

Among the targets of the FARC and ETA terrorists were former Vice President Francisco Santos, former Colombian ambassador to Spain Noemí Sanín and former Bogotá Mayor Antanas Mockus.

Translated by Gerardo Cárdenas

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