Two Ecuadorian Civilians shot, killed by Colombia’s military Oct. 15, 2006

Posted on September 29, 2016 • Filed under: Colombia, Crime, Ecuador, FARC

2006 October 19, 20:57 (Thursday)

Canonical ID:

1. (C) Summary: Ecuadorian military officials on October 19 confirmed that two Ecuadorian civilians were killed by Colombian military gunfire on October 15 while traveling in a canoe with FARC rebels on the San Miguel River. Foreign Minister Francisco Carrion publicly criticized the Colombian military and called for reparations for the victims’ families. The bi-national commission met on October 19 to evaluate the incident, and is expected to release a detailed report later this week. End summary. Ecuadorians Killed; Details Murky ——————————— 2. (U) According to press reports, two Ecuadorian nationals resident in Colombia were shot and killed on October 15 while traveling in canoe on the Ecuadorian side of the San Miguel River in the Sucumbios province. The canoe reportedly came under Colombian military gunfire around 7:30 a.m., killing a 52 year-old woman and 31 year-old man. 3. (C) The Ecuadorian 24th Special Forces Battalion Commander based in Lago Agrio, Sucumbios, Luis Lara, confirmed the incident to Embassy officials. Lara admitted that details surrounding the event remain murky, but said that the Ecuadorian military believes that FARC rebels were also traveling in the canoe with the Ecuadorian civilians killed (Note: Canoes often serve as river taxis on the San Miguel). The Colombian military, apparently unaware of the civilian travelers, fired on the canoe from the Colombian side of the border, Lara explained. He was not certain if the FARC rebels were also killed, but signaled that it was likely. FM Carrion Demands Reparations —————————— 4. (U) Foreign Minister Francisco Carrion in a press conference on October 18 said that the bi-national border commission (COMBIFRON) would meet in emergency session on October 19 on the San Miguel Bridge between Sucumbios, Ecuador and Putumayo, Colombia to exchange information. Carrion also called for the Colombian government to punish those responsible and compensate the victims’ families. Defense Minister Marcelo Delgado, who traveled to the region earlier in the week, told the press that further investigation was needed, but that the GOE believed that the Colombian military fired the shots that killed the two civilians. Comment ——- 5. (C) The area of the incident is known FARC territory and is a hotbed of illegal activity and conflict between the Colombian military and FARC rebels. A more definitive report on the scuffle is expected later this week. Bilateral consultation procedures on border incidents have resolved similar cases in the recent past, with hiccups, and the cases generally fade from public view once the GOC agrees to pay damages (even when not explicitly accepting responsibility for the incident). We will encourage the GOE to handle this incident in a similar manner. JEWELL

Original Classification:

Current Classification:
Handling Restrictions
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Character Count:
Executive Order:
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CO – Colombia | EC – Ecuador; European Community | MARR – Military and Defense Affairs–Military and Defense Arrangements | MASS – Military and Defense Affairs–Military Assistance and Sales | MOPS – Military and Defense Affairs–Military Operations | PREL – Political Affairs–External Political Relations | PTER – Political Affairs–Terrorists and Terrorism | SNAR – Social Affairs–Narcotics

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TE – Telegram (cable)
Office Origin:
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Office Action:
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Archive Status:
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Ecuador Quito

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Bolivia La Paz | Brazil Brasilia | Colombia Bogotá | Ecuador Guayaquil | Panama Panama City | Peru Lima | Secretary of State | United States Southern Command (Miami) | Venezuela Caracas

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