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Interpol confirms captured FARC data

Latest update : 2008-05-15

Interpol confirmed Thursday that information on seized computers was indeed that of the FARC, but the international police agency would not confirm the US and Colombian allegation that the group is receiving funds from Venezuela.

BOGOTA, May 15 - Interpol, the international police
agency, said on Thursday documents found on Colombian rebel
computers, which Colombia's government charges show that Venezuela
and Ecuador supported leftist guerrillas, were authentic.

However, the agency did not verify the contents of the files
captured in a Colombian military raid on a Marxist rebel camp in
Ecuador in March in which a top guerrilla leader was killed.

Revelations from the three laptops, hard drives and
computer data keys are fueling tensions in the Andean region,
where Colombian is Washington's closest ally and Venezuela and
Ecuador are fierce U.S. critics.

"Interpol concludes there was no tampering with any data,"
Interpol chief Ronald Noble said through an interpreter in a
Bogota news conference. "Our only motive was to find out
whether there was any tampering."

Colombia invited Interpol to carry out forensic tests to
guarantee it had not tried to manipulate the material found on
three laptops and other hardware captured in the raid.

Colombian and U.S. officials, who label the rebels as
terrorists, say the documents show Venezuelan officials provided
support to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC, who
are fighting Latin America's oldest insurgency.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the United
States was highly disturbed that Venezuela might be actively
aiding the rebels.

"There are serious allegations about Venezuela supplying arms
and support to a terrorist organization," he said.

Venezuela and Ecuador dismiss the accusations as false and
part of a U.S.-backed campaign to discredit their governments.
They say any contacts with rebels were only part of humanitarian
efforts to free guerrilla hostages.

"The government of Colombia is capable of provoking a war
with Venezuela to justify the intervention of the United
States," Chavez said recently. "Whatever they want they will
find -- it's ridiculous."

U.S. officials portray Chavez as a threat to regional
stability as he pushes his socialist revolution. The former
soldier counters Washington wants to oust him.

The computer evidence has generated talk in the U.S.
Congress about whether Washington will seek sanctions against
Chavez. But analysts say that measure is complicated because
Venezuela is a key U.S. oil supplier.

Date created : 2008-05-15