Ecuador: Colombian military kills two

According to residents of Puerto Nuevo, in the Ecuadoran province of Sucumbios near the border with Colombia, on March 22 Colombian soldiers fired a grenade at the home of Ecuadoran citizen Jorge Plaza Mantilla in Puerto Nuevo. Fifteen Colombian soldiers then entered Plaza Mantilla’s house, seized him and headed back toward Colombian territory. While on the way to the border, the soldiers also captured Colombian citizen Daniel Marroqui Ortega and took him with them into Colombia. Later, the Colombia military turned the two men’s dead bodies over to the Colombian Red Cross and Public Defender’s Office. The Colombian military claimed the victims were linked to Colombian guerrilla groups, a charge their relatives rejected.

On March 31 Ecuadoran president Rafael Correa said his government had sent a “very strong letter of protest” to Colombia on March 29, and that “we’ll go on taking appropriate measures, I emphasize, including going before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.” The Ecuadoran government also expressed concern over Colombia’s failure to take action in relation to previous border incidents, including the death of Ecuadoran citizen Victor Hugo Enriquez Gomez in Rumichaca on July 16, 2006; injuries to Puerto Nuevo residents from a grenade on Aug. 24, 2006; and the deaths of Ecuadoran citizens Blanca Fidelina Vega Carvajal and Hector Misael Monar Vega on Oct. 15, 2006, because of actions by Colombian soldiers. (El Diario-La Prensa, NYC, March 26, 28, April 1 from EFE)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, April 1

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