The murder of five Colombians in Venezuela over the weekend is likely the work of the Colombian neo-paramilitary group “Los Urabeños” said Colombia’s Medical Examiner’s Office Tuesday.
The institute’s director Carlos Valdes told Semana magazine that ” the cause of death corresponds, in all five cases, to a bullet passing through the skull,” a modus operandi commonly associated with Los Urabeños, who control most of Colombia’s drug trade along the Caribbean coast into the neighboring country.
Valdes added that the bodies “were in a high state of decomposition…and heavily contamination with sand and earth” so distance of the shootings and gun type were still undetermined.
The bodies of the victims were discovered on Sunday on the banks of the Tachira river near the Venezuelan town of Ureña but had been missing 48 hours previous from their home town of Cucuta on the Colombian side of the border.
Semana also reported that the testimony of survivor, Alexis Daniel, states that some of the gunmen proclaimed to belong to the “Urabeños Frontier” that operates along the Colombian-Venezuelan border.
Security concerns are high along border and particularly in Colombia’s Cucuta where various armed groups use it as a trafficking point to smuggle arms, narcotics and other illegal contraband across the border.