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Interpol: Colombia did not doctor FARC files

Colombia says the files show Venezuela supports the leftist rebels, a claim Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez calls 'ridiculous.'

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An international forensics team has determined that Colombian officials did not tamper with computer files they say prove Venezuela's close collaboration with leftist rebels.

The computers were purportedly seized by Colombian forces in a March 1 air raid on a guerrilla camp across the border in Ecuador, and have been at the center of a diplomatic crisis between the three South American neighbors.

Interpol Secretary-General Ronald Noble presented the findings of the two-month investigation Thursday, saying that "there was no tampering with or altering of any of the data contained in the user files by any of the Colombian law-enforcement authorities following their seizure on March 1."

The long-awaited report from the international policy agency makes no judgment about the authenticity of the information in the documents, however.

Venezuela's leftist president Hugo Chávez has vehemently denied the claims that his government supported the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels, saying the evidence on the laptops is part of a smear campaign by the United States and Colombia.

"The government of Colombia is capable of provoking a war with Venezuela to justify the intervention of the United States," Mr. Chávez said recently. "Whatever they want they will find – it's ridiculous."

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