Looks like the Colombia problem is heating up on more fronts than one. Here’s what’s going on in Correa-land:
Colombian rebels in northern Ecuador are an old problem that previous governments failed to confront, Ecuador’s defense minister told The Associated Press, announcing additions to a growing arsenal aimed at securing the Andean nation’s borders.
Defense Minister Javier Ponce said in an interview that the government is buying six Israeli-made unmanned aerial vehicles and new radar so it can get a better handle on its borders, especially the troubled frontier with Colombia.
The acquisitions are in addition to 24 Super Tucano warplanes announced in May.
He said he does not consider Colombia a national security threat, though the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia that dominates the northern border zone — and the illegal drug trade that fuels its insurgency — are a danger.
“We are not able to impede the establishment of guerrilla camps or drug labs, but to the degree that we have been dismantling a series of labs and camps we are establishing a certain capacity to prevent this from getting out of control,” Ponce told the AP on Tuesday evening.
Incidentally, Colombia and Ecuador are still not talking to each other over the illegal bombing of a FARC camp on Ecuadorian turf this past March 1. But hey, at least Manta will soon be a thing of the past, at least as far as gringo incursion forces go.
And here’s a cool factoid: Minister Ponce is also a poet! A few satirical verses excoriating El Narco would therefore be in order, yes?