The raid by Colombia's national police on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia sanctuary inside neighboring Ecuador triggered a war of words, trade sanctions and choreographed troop movements by Ecuador and Venezuela; nations whose officials have injected themselves with some success into efforts to free hostages held by the leftist group FARC. The hostages include three American defense contractors shot down in 2003 and held in the jungles of Colombia ever since.
Ecuador's President Rafael Correa on Monday said that the raids had scuttled the talks. "'I'm sorry to tell you that the conversations were pretty advanced to free 12 hostages, '' said Correa in a televised address reported on by Associated Press. ''All of this was frustrated by the war-mongering, authoritarian hands of the Colombian government."