Six indigenous Colombians and a farmer were arrested on Wednesday by Venezuela’s national guard along the border of the eastern department of Guainia and Venezuela.
It is unclear whether the Venezuelan authorities crossed the border and entered Colombian territory to arrest the seven Colombians. However, the former mayor of Puerto Inirida in Guainia, Carlos Sandoval, told Caracol radio that the detainees were taken from Colombian national territory. He also claimed that these types of arrests are “common practice,” and that the Colombian must pay fines to avoid prison.
The Venezuelan Consul in Guainia, Asdrubal Blanco Gomez, confirmed the arrests, which he was informed of by Mayor Oscar Del Vasto of Puerto Inirido, governor of Guainia Oscar Rodríguez, and the police commander of the department, Luis Antonio Montenegro.
He added that the Venezuelan ambassador in Colombia, Ivan Rincon, was aware of the situation and that the incident was being investigated.
“I understand that the case was going to be referred to presidential authorities and the ambassador is already coordinating this,” said Blanco.
The Colombian foreign ministry has not yet commented on the arrests, however the ministry was reportedly in contact with the Venezuelan government on Wednesday, to allow Colombian officials to speak to the detainees and establish what happened.