According to the Nuevo Herald de Miami, law enforcement officials in Quito and intelligence officers in Columbia have confirmed that Anglican Bishop of Quito, Walter Crespo Garderas, is suspected of involvement in the sales of weapons to the Revolutionary Forces of Columbia (FARC) in April of 2000.
The newspaper reports the bishop negotiated the sale of several hundred anti-tank missiles and cluster bombs by the Ecuadorian Air Force (FAE) to the Columbian guerrillas, as well funneling $240,000 for M-72-A2 missiles, which were intended to be used in an attack on Columbian president Alvaro Uribe.
The sale of the cluster bombs was made to appear as a deal with the government of Zimbabwe, according to Columbian military and police officials.
The Ecuadorian connection to the weapons has been under investigation by the Justice department of Ecuador since 2001, leading to the arrest this week of Bishop Crespo.
Bishop Crespo spoke to the Nuevo Herald from prison in Quito and acknowledged he has contracts with FARC, especially with guerilla leader Teófilo Forero.
However the Bishop claimed his original affidavit in which he acknowledged being an intermediary with the FARC was given under coercion because of drugs he was given while in custody.