Viewing cable 07BOGOTA8661
Title: NICARAGUA URGES FARC "BROTHER" TO RELEASE HOSTAGES

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
07BOGOTA86612007-12-27 13:13:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Bogota
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SUBJECT: NICARAGUA URGES FARC "BROTHER" TO RELEASE HOSTAGES 
 
¶1. On December 7, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega called 
on his "beloved brother," Revolutionary Armed Forces of 
Colombia (FARC) leader Manual Marulanda, to free Ingrid 
Betancourt, apparently in response to Venezuelan president 
Hugo Chavez' appeal for his involvement. Ortega added that 
"in the name of all Latin American revolutionaries and as a 
signal to work for peace," such a gesture would help 
strengthen the FARC and its leadership. He said he had spoken 
directly to Chavez and volunteered his assistance. 
 
¶2.  On December 12, Ortega ordered the Nicaraguan military to 
be placed on alert.  The next day he reiterated the need for 
the GOC and the FARC to re-open negotiations aimed at the 
obtaining the release of all hostages. He said he hoped 
President Uribe would listen to his message because, although 
the FARC had the will to release Betancourt, there was also 
"serious risk" that she could be killed. Her death would then 
be used to blame the FARC. Ortega said he was not meddling in 
another country's affairs but rather reacting to the hostage 
families' appeals for help, concerns which go "beyond 
borders". He criticized the GOC's conditions for negotiations 
with the FARC, accusing Uribe of "condemning Betancourt and 
the other hostages to death" and of bowing to "imperialist 
pressures." 
 
¶3. Ortega's comments came on the heels of a December 13 
International Court of Justice ruling in favor of Colombia's 
sovereignty over San Andres and two other islands disputed by 
Nicaragua. Still, the Court asserted jurisdiction to rule on 
Nicaragua's claims to three other cays, as well as to 
de-limit the maritime boundary between the two countries. 
 
¶4. Colombian Foreign Minister Fernando Araujo lodged an 
"energetic protest" to Ortega's comments on December 14, 
rebuking Ortega for using positive terms towards a 
narco-terrorist group without consideration for the FARC's 
victims. He denounced Ortega's comments as "unhelpful" to 
internal Colombian matters and rejected his characterization 
of the situation.  The rift with Venezuela and Nicaragua has 
prompted a private request by Colombian police to Post's 
Narcotics Affairs Section (NAS) not to invite more Venezuelan 
or Nicaraguan participants to its international training 
courses. 
Nichols