This Sunday, the governor of Venezuela’s state of Táchira, Freddy Bernal, raised the alarm that groups from the Colombian National Liberation Army (ELN), FARC dissidents, and drug traffickers from the Clan del Golfo are operating on the Colombia–Venezuela border.
Bernal explained that on the border between Colombia and Venezuela, which extends for more than 2,200 kilometers, ELN groups are active, as well as three other organizations which split off from the FARC, one from the Ejército Popular de Liberación (Popular Liberation Army, EPL) and three from the Clan del Golfo.
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Within the framework of a security operation, the governor indicated that 45 paramilitary groups operating in Colombia’s North Santander department are also actively trying to control the border. In addition, 26 criminal groups are active within the Tren de Aragua criminal organization.
Bernal also reported that three men were killed during recent security operations in the municipality of Ureña. The men were presumably involved in the attack perpetrated a week ago against a commercial enterprise.
“They have tried to damage the peace and tranquility that we work hard to have here on the border,” stated Bernal.
¡#Táchira con el Operativo Frontera de Paz logramos capturar a un grupo de presuntos terroristas! #LaPazYLaSoberaníaDeVenezuelaNoSeNegocia pic.twitter.com/O3APkuRvjI
— Freddy Bernal (@FreddyBernal) May 14, 2023
He added that the confrontation took place in the vicinity of the Táchira river, which divides Venezuela from Colombia. The incident began after a criminal group threw a grenade at officials from the Organized Crime Division (DCDO) and the anti-terrorism group of the Bolivarian National Police, who responded.
The security operation occurred just days after Venezuela and Colombia signed a cooperation agreement to protect their borders.
“At this moment, criminal gangs want to—because one thing is that they want to and another thing is that they can—reposition themselves,” wrote the governor on social media. “That is why we have launched this Peace Border operation, and it ratifies what I have said. The sovereignty and peace of the border are not negotiable. They are imposed and defended with the force of the Constitution
Approximately 1,300 troops were deployed for the operation, including the military and the police, who shut down illegal border crossings where thousands of people from both countries travel and which are also used to smuggle dollars.
(RedRadioVE) by Ana Perdigón
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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