Three policemen and the director of a local migration office were killed near the Venezuelan border in an attack attributed to Colombia’s largest rebel group, the FARC, local media reported Thursday.
Local authorities speaking to newspaper El Heraldo said a fifth person, presumably a civilian public servant, was injured in Wednesday’s attack, which took place in Maicao, a town miles from the Venezuelan border.
According to local sources, FARC rebels from the 59th Front attacked a police car, leading to the death of two policemen. At that moment, another car with three migration office employees passed the spot, leading to the death of two of them in the crossfire.
A local community leader told newspaper El Heraldo all the army units in Maicao in the area had left last week, leaving only five policemen to protect the civilian population.
The same source said an armed group had told the inhabitants of the community that everyone should “be at home sleeping” by at a’ clock at night.
La Guajira sees the presence of three FARC fronts and a mobile column from the organization’s so-called Caribbean Bloc. Frequently, authorities have accused the rebels of launching attacks on the Colombian side of the border while later taking refuge in the mountainous border area in the Venezuelan state of Zulia.
On Monday, two Spanish tourists were kidnapped in this department. Although initially blaming the FARC’s 59th Front for the kidnapping, authorities later said “common criminals” were behind the deed.
- Cuatro muertos y un herido deja ataque a patrulla de la Policía en La Guajira (Caracol Radio)
- Tres muertos en emboscada cerca a frontera con Venezuela (El Tiempo)
- Ataque de la guerrilla en Paraguachón: 3 muertos y un herido (El Heraldo)
- Cuatro muertos y un herido en ataque guerrillero en La Guajira (El Espectador)