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Venezuela closes Colombian border

Latest update : 2008-03-05

In an escalating crisis over the killing of a Farc rebel chief, Venezuela closed its border with Colombia. Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said he would denounce Chavez in an international court for 'sponsoring genocide'. (Report: J.Creedon)


BOGOTA - Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said on Tuesday he would denounce Venezuela's Hugo Chavez in an international court in a growing Andean dispute after Venezuela and Ecuador cut diplomatic ties with Bogota and ordered troops to their neighbor's frontier.
 

Colombia has accused Chavez and Ecuador's President Rafael Correa of links to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC guerrillas and the crisis was triggered by a raid by Colombian troops inside Ecuador to kill a top guerrilla boss.
 

"Colombia proposes to denounce the President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez in the International Criminal Court for sponsoring and financing genocide," Uribe told reporters.
 

Venezuela began restricting Colombian commercial traffic on some points on its frontier as the crisis began to take its toll on the $6-billion-a-year bilateral trade between the two countries, witnesses and businesses in Venezuela said.
 

Latin American countries scrambled to defuse the spat, which threatened regional stability. The Organization of the American States (OAS), the region's top diplomatic body, was to meet in Washington to press for a peaceful solution.
 

Correa arrived in Peru on Tuesday to start a five-nation tour of the region -- including to leftist ally Venezuela -- to lobby for support against what he calls a premeditated violation of sovereignty.
 

"This is not a bilateral problem, it's a regional problem," Correa told Mexican television. "Should this set a precedent, Latin America will become another Middle East."
 

Latin American governments generally lined up to condemn Uribe, a key Washington ally, for sending troops and warplanes over the border on Saturday in an attack on a jungle camp that killed Raul Reyes, a senior FARC rebel.
 

But Colombia has pressed its campaign for international support by playing up the threat from the FARC, Latin America's
oldest left-wing insurgency, which it labels a cocaine-trafficking terrorist organization.

Date created : 2008-03-04

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