Colombia: May 8, 2002


Panamanian minister of government and justice Anibal Salas blamed the Nicaraguan Government on 29 April for not meeting international regulations on international weapons sales, while simultaneously denouncing the Nicaraguan Police for not informing Panama about an investigation into arms shipment misrouted into the hands of Colombian terrorists.

The Nicaraguan Police sold 3,000 AK-47 rifles and five million 7.62X39mm cartridges to the Guatemalan firm Girsa (allegedly acted as an intermediary for the Panamanian Police) but the shipment was sent to Colombia. According to Salas, the intermediary firm is owned by two Israelis living in Guatemala and they used forged Panamanian Government documents, which the Nicaraguan authorities failed to authenticate.

According to Panamanian Council for Public Security and National Defense chief Ramiro Jarvis, the weapons were shipped from Puerto Rama (Nicaragua) on 26 October 2000 aboard the Panamanian ship Otterloo, but they ended up in the port of Turbo (Colombia) on 12 November. - Adam Geibel

FARC admitted it was they who fired the home made mortar bomb (a technique allegedly learned from IRA instructors) at the church in Bojaya.


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