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Monday, August 26 2019 @ 12:33 am EDT

Moscoso and Torrijos Negotiated With The FARC

Panama News The administrations of Mireya Moscoso and Martín Torrijos in Panama held suspected secret talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to avoid clashes in the province of the Darien and to remain "neutral." Moscoso and Torrijos both knew that the FARC moved through Panama. This was revealed in more than 33 documents discovered on the hard drive of the computer belonging to Raul Reyes, the number two commander of the FARC, who was killed by the Colombian army in Ecuador on 1 March 2008. During the Moscoso administration, representatives sent by the FARC in Panama coordinated secret meetings with top officials of that government. During those meetings the Moscoso administration indicated they "do not object" to the presence of FARC guerrillas in the border region. Torrijos, meanwhile, contacted the FARC through a secret delegate, and through another Venezuelan intermediary.

Among the agreements negotiated was the return to the FARC guerrillas captured by police forces in Panama, and the promise that captured guerrillas would not be extradited to Colombia. After the death of Reyes, the military forces of Colombia seized his personal computer. La Prensa had access to documents held by Colombian authorities. Apart from these agreements, the documents from Reyes' computer make other references to Panama: secret accounts, trips, hidden property, and the possibility of kidnapping people to finance their operations. "We always cooperated with the Colombian government against the FARC. We never mix with those men," Moscoso said. Former president Martin Torrijos could not be located. (La Prensa)

Editor's Comment: Yet another of Panama's "open secrets" destroyed by Ricardo Martinelli. Many years ago Panama negotiated an agreement with the FARC, a policy that has been followed by successive governments for decades. The FARC dates back to internal political strife in Panama in the 1950's and the FARC was formed in 1964. Panamanian governments have always adopted the diplomatic position that the internal problems between the government and military of Colombia with the FARC and other guerrilla movements should remain internal to that country, and they were afraid the conflict would spill over into Panama if they took sides. Noriega actually partnered with the FARC in some endeavors, particularly drug trafficking. After the overthrow of Noriega and the US Just Cause invasion of Panama, in the early 1990's during the five year administration of Guillermo Endara, the government of Panama was cooperating more closely than ever with the US government and military, causing the FARC to get nervous. With their relative power growing in Colombia, they kidnapped three US citizens in Panama and two more in Colombia. These missionaries were eventually killed by their captors. Later, after the election of Ernesto Perez Balladares, the government of Panama returned to a policy of appeasement with the FARC, which carried through the next two administrations of Mireya Moscoso and Martin Torrijos. Now, in 2010, the government and military of Colombia has finally recovered the initiative from the FARC. The administration of Ricardo Martinelli has obviously decided to abandon the previous hands-off policy which has prevented the FARC from conducting combat operations in Panama for almost fifty years. Now it's possible the FARC might make a strategic decision to send a message to Ricardo Martinelli - some kind of a terrorist attack, bombing, or kidnapping. Remember, the FARC is nothing more than a terrorist drug trafficking organization disguised as a political movement. They lost any semblance of political validity a long time ago. However, they are hardened, capable, and experienced jungle fighters, and they have also exploded dozens if not hundreds of explosive devices in Colombia. They should not be underestimated.

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