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EU, US and OAS condemn killing of Colombian governor attributed to FARC

Thursday, December 24th 2009 - 09:03 UTC
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Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said Colombia can count with the EU Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said Colombia can count with the EU

The European Union, United States and the Organization of American States condemned the killing of Colombian governor Luis Francisco Cuellar, which has been attributed to the Marxist-inspired, drugs-funded Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, the oldest guerrilla grouping operating in the country.

In a brief statement from Brussels the presidency of the Council of the European Union “condemns the murder of the governor of the Colombian department of Caquetá Luis Francisco Cuéllar Carvajal and the murder of the policeman Javier Garcia Gutierrez, both apparently carried out by the FARC.

The presidency expresses its solidarity with the families of the victims.

The EU condemns the violations of International Humanitarian Law that continues to be committed by the illegal armed groups”.

Finally the presidency “reiterates EU’s call on all parties, including illegal armed groups, to cease all acts of violence against the civilian population, to stop kidnapping and to release all the remaining hostages immediately and unconditionally”.

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission also expressed its most “energetic condemnation of this execrable and cowardly act”.

“Colombia can count with the support of the European Union both to find an end to all violence as to the search for a sustainable peace in the country” said Ms. Ashton.

Governor Cuellar was seized from his house on Monday in Florencia, provincial capital.

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said the kidnappers had cut Cuellar's throat as they were being chased by security forces.

“The terrorists burned the vehicle in which they kidnapped the governor, further ahead they killed him, they slit his throat, they killed him miserably” said President Uribe, in a nationally televised address on Tuesday.

“They slit his throat to avoid making noise because they knew that the armed forces were in the surrounding area”.

The US embassy in Colombia on Wednesday also released a statement condemning the kidnap and murder of the governor of Caquetá and his security policeman.

”The United States is shocked and deeply grieved to learn of the kidnapping and cold-blooded murder of Luis Francisco Cuellar governor of Caquetá, and the murder of police patrolman Javier Simon Garcia by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on 22 December 2009. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the governor and the trooper Garcia Cuellar”

The embassy statement reiterates US commitment to helping “Colombians to defend their democracy from these narco-terrorists,” and supporting “the government of Colombia in its efforts to achieve peace and reconciliation.”

The FARC has not yet claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and murder of Cuellar but local authorities and the Colombian Government assume that they carried out the operation, given the way the killers acted.

If it is confirmed that the FARC are responsible, Cuellar will become the first high-level politician to be abducted and murdered by the armed group in Colombia since president Alvaro Uribe took office in August 2002.

Finally OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza expressed his “most energetic rejection” and condemnation of the killing of Governor Cuellar attributed to FARC.

”This act of atrocity and barbarity can only receive the condemnation of the international community that supports Colombia in its efforts to reach a sustainable peace”.

Insulza called on FARC to understand the pain and implication of these actions against human beings and Colombian national peace.

Insulza said he expected those responsible to be arrested and taken to court in full guarantees of the rule of the law and reiterated OAS commitment to support governments in the region to combat narco-traffic and terrorism and to help with social harmony and dialogue “indispensable to prevent actions as those occurred today in Colombian territory”.

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