March 1 marked the second anniversary of the Colombian military attack on a camp belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in Angostura, Ecuador, which killed the organization’s second-in-command Raúl Reyes. A commemorative link on the website of Ecuadorian daily El Comercio acquaints visitors with pertinent details of the event, such as the location and layout of the camp, the characteristics of the Blackhawk helicopters used, and an approximation of fatalities—which in addition to 21 guerrillas and 1 soldier includes 5 civilians, who are nonetheless represented on the tally sheet by 5 small grey figures with guns.
Also provided is a diagram of Reyes’ sleeping quarters, which is depicted as consisting of wooden planks, a plastic tarp, and a plasma television set. The diagram does not specify the location of the laptop computers that were allegedly found to contain evidence of Ecuadorian and Venezuelan ties to the FARC—laptops that had then spontaneously produced guerrilla ties to an anti-coup political party in the aftermath of last summer’s coup d’état in Honduras, where the employment of Colombian paramilitaries in the private security sector has not prompted the Colombian armed forces to bombard them using U.S. satellite technology.
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has detected other attempted violations of national sovereignty, classifying as “imperialism” the inclusion of Ecuador on the Financial Action Task Force’s list of nations less than cooperative in the international struggle against money laundering and terrorist financing. According to Correa, his country was placed on the list for refusing to abandon relations with Iran; as for Colombian concerns about the susceptibility of its own borders to terrorists, these might have been more compelling if—one year after the attack on Angostura—I had been able to find anyone on the Cúcuta-San Antonio del Táchira border crossing between Colombia and Venezuela capable of registering my entrance or exit.