The Colombian government requested that the Spanish government examine the monitoring and verification mechanisms along the Colombian border with Venezuela, which has been the source of growing conflict between the two countries.
Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez contacted his Spanish counterpart Miguel Angel Moratinos to raise the idea of Spain’s involvement. The Spanish Minister has not yet officially responded.
This is the latest case of an international actor becoming involved in the situation. Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva said Thursday he intends to arrange a meeting between Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez to end verbal hostilities between the two neighboring countries north of Brazil.
Relations between Venezuela and Colombia are under great pressure over soaring violence in the countries’ common border region and Colombia’s renewed military cooperation with the U.S.
Chavez Tuesday threatened to completely close the border with Colombia following the murder of two members of the Civil Guard by an alleged Venezuelan ally of Colombian paramilitaries.
The border has long been a reason of friction between the country as both paramilitary and guerrilla fighters from Colombia cross it to escape Colombian authorities and move Colombian-produced cocaine to Venezuela for further transport. The Venezuelan states bordering Colombia have soaring crime rates and no more than two weeks ago two massacres were committed on Colombian citizens.
Closing the border would further deteriorate the situation for Colombian exporters who already have seen a decrease in income because of the tensions between the two neighboring countries.