The Colombian government's latest victory in its anti-rebel attack seems to further cool the already-chilled Venezuela-Colombia ties as Venezuela warned of a war with Colombia should a similar cross-border attack occurs in Venezuela.
The Colombia military killed Raul Reyes, one of the seven-member secretariat of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country's largest anti-government group, in an attack on a jungle camp across the Colombia-Ecuador border on Saturday, Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos told reporters in the Colombian capital of Bogota.
The bespectacled and bearded Reyes, whose real name was Luis Edgar Devia Silva, had been regarded as the FARC's No. 2 leader and a possible successor to the group's 77-year-old head Manuel Marulanda.
Famous for his tough stance in the past negotiations with the government, Reyes was the FARC's pubic face as its official spokesman who often sent statements from the mountains of Colombia. A former union leader, he joined the FARC in the 1970s.
Venezuela-Colombia ties more frosty
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez criticized the Colombian forces for entering the Ecuadorian territory and warned against a similar move on the Venezuelan territory.
"Don't be thinking that you can do that here because it would be very serious and would be a cause for war (if there is) a military incursion into the Venezuelan territory," Chavez said.
"The Colombian government acknowledges having made an incursion, violating the space of a neighboring country in an irresponsible way, which is worrisome," Chavez said.
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said his Colombian counterpart Alvaro Uribe had informed him of the raid.