Rebel's Files Show Chávez Aided FARC

Laptops point to arms deals, training accords with Colombian rebels
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2008 8:09 AM CDT
Pro-government demonstrators hold a portrait of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez during a May Day march in Caracas, Thursday, May 1, 2008.   (AP Photo/Howard Yanes)
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(Newser) – A cache of computer files found on a dead Colombian guerrilla leader's laptops implicates Hugo Chávez in arms deals with the FARC rebels. The Wall Street Journal reports that Colombian and American intelligence agencies, which came into possession of about 100 files, have no doubt of their authenticity. Both FARC and the Venezuelan president claim that they are counterfeit.

The Colombian government is now asking Interpol to examine the documents, which attest to offers of missiles and rocket-propelled grenades. They also suggest that Venezuela asked FARC for training in guerrilla tactics to prepare for a possible US invasion. FARC has been fighting the Colombian government for nearly 50 years and has held Ingrid Betancourt and others hostage since 2002.