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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Colombia calls for Chavez charges

(BBC) Colombian President Alvaro Uribe says he will ask the International Criminal Court to bring charges against President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

Mr Uribe said he would ask the Hague court to bring charges of "financing genocide". Colombia accuses Venezuela of backing Farc rebels.

Mr Uribe's announcement comes amid sharply worsening relations.

Venezuela and Ecuador have broken off ties with Colombia over a raid launched into Ecuador against the rebels.

Saturday's incursion by Colombian forces into Ecuador saw the killing of senior Farc commander Raul Reyes, and 16 others.

'Dirty bomb'

Colombia says records found in a laptop belonging to Reyes suggest the Venezuelan government recently gave $300m to the Farc.

Colombian Vice-President Francisco Santos, speaking earlier at a disarmament conference in Geneva, said evidence of plans to make a dirty bomb - a bomb using radioactive material - was also found on the computer.

For its part, Venezuela has said it is expelling all Colombian diplomats in the wake of the raid.

Venezuela and Ecuador have deployed troops to their borders amid calls for restraint led by the head of the UN.

Ecuador said the raid had scuppered a possible deal to free French-Colombian Farc hostage Ingrid Betancourt.

Latin American powers including Chile, Mexico and Brazil have offered to mediate in the dispute. An emergency meeting of the Organization of American States is being held to discuss the crisis.

Farc - the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - has been fighting for more than four decades with the declared aim of fairer wealth distribution in Colombia.

Documents found on FARC member laptop (1 of 3 found). It's a pdf file with about 36 pages of documents.

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