Colombia’s Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera will travel to Caracas next week to meet with his Venezuelan counterpart Carlos Jose Mata Figueroa to discuss the weak border security.
According to Rivera, the meeting is to achieve a intensification of military border operations to fight illegal armed groups that are active in the region.
Earlier this week, Colombian governors from the border departments complained about an increase in guerrilla activity and in Venezuela border governors have complained about an increase in extortion and kidnappings.
While visiting the border in the Arauca department, Rodrigo said that “the coming week I will visit Venezuela within the process of strengthening security relations… we will continue working on the agenda regarding the fight against drug trafficking, kidnapping and extortion and hope to notify the authorities of the neighboring country of the citizens’s complaints to achieve a strong reaction.”
According to the defense minister, the recent “advance in constructing more trust between the two governments is key element to prevent criminals from using the border to make fun of us.”
The Colombian-Venezuelan border is used by drug traffickers, neo-paramilitary and guerrilla groups to traffic drugs. Leftist guerrilla groups are alleged to cross the border to avoid confrontations with Colombian security forces.