BOGOTA, Colombia – New documents published by a newsmagazine on Sunday from a slain rebel's computer show top guerrillas discussed how much money to give the election 2006 campaign of Ecuador's president.
The documents, whose authenticity was confirmed by two senior Colombian officials, also include a 2000 letter to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi asking for a $100 million loan so the rebels could buy weapons including surface-to-air missiles.
They describe, additionally, rebel ties to drug traffickers, meetings with senior Venezuelan police officials and an effort by Democrats in the U.S. Congress to employ Colombian Nobel laureate novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez in negotiations with the insurgents.
The documents, published in the Colombian magazine Semana, do not specify how much the rebels allegedly paid Ecuador's leftist president, Rafael Correa, or who might have received the money.
Correa vehemently denies accepting funds from the insurgents.
"We do not fear being investigated over and over," he told reporters on Sunday in Ecuador's capital, where he met with Jose Miguel Insulza, secretary-general of the Organization of American States. Insulza said that he had no knowledge of FARC-Correa ties but that an OAS commission he is leading on the Andean crisis will investigate. It is expected to arrive in Bogota on Monday.
Colombia's police chief released a first set of documents from the laptop three days after the March 1 cross-border raid into Ecuador that claimed the life Raul Reyes, the public face of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
The attack triggered a diplomatic crisis that prompted Ecuador and Venezuela to send troops to their borders with Colombia and recall their ambassadors from Bogota.
Latin American presidents at least partially defused tensions at a summit in the Dominican Republic on Friday, Correa and President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela said they would pull back their troops and exchanged stiff handshakes with Colombia's U.S.-allied president, Alvaro Uribe.
But Correa has hesitated to restore diplomatic relations.
An excerpt from an Oct. 12, 2006 letter that the Colombians say they recovered from Reyes' laptop describes deliberations on how much to give the Correa campaign. The rebel's top leader, Manuel Marulanda, tells Reyes that fellow members of the FARC's ruling secretariat differ on whether to donate $20,000, $50,000 or $100,000 to Correa's presidential campaign. He says Reyes should quickly decide on the amount.
"The Secretariat is in agreement with providing support to our friends from Ecuador," Marulanda writes. "Can you let our friends know immediately, before it's too late, the amount of the support ... ."
The first round of voting was Oct. 15, 2006. Correa was elected Nov. 26.
A separate letter from Reyes to Marulanda dated Sept. 17 of that year discusses "support delivered to the campaign of Rafael Correa" but does not specify an amount or date.
One of two high-ranking officials who confirmed to The Associated Press the authenticity of the documents published Sunday said Correa, as well members of Ecuadorean opposition parties, were given the letters that incriminate him before Friday's summit in the Dominican Republic.
At Friday's summit, Uribe read aloud excerpts from the Sept. 17 letter.
"There are also more that will not be released to the press but which will be sent directly to Correa," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the documents' political sensitivity.
Correa has questioned the validity of the documents.
"You can invent anything," Correa said Saturday. "A simple printout has no legal validity."