The Minister of Defense and other national officials met near the Venezuelan border Thursday to discuss efforts to combat rebel groups.
The Minister of Defense Rodrigo Rivera traveled to the Arauca department on the border of Venezuela to meet with security forces fighting rebel groups in the boarder area.
Rivera along with representatives from the military, security services (DAS), Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the national police converged in the region to meet with local government to plan this year’s efforts to combat rebel groups.
Last year both countries amplified security efforts in the border region by sending thousands of troops to suppress rebel groups such as the ELN and the FARC, as well as drug trafficking and neo-paramilitary groups active in the region.
The call to action this year is influenced by the recent rise in guerrilla activity on the border.
The governor of Aracua, Luis Ataya, expressed his concerns in a report by Terra.com on Thursday. The Governor states, “The problem is that the Venezuelan side of the border is completely overrun by FARC and ELN. Colombians are afraid to go to Venezuela because they are kidnapping us there.” He went on to say, “We do military operations on our side but the problem is the Venezuela side. There they are seizing people and vehicles.”
In recent months Venezuela has extradited a number of guerrillas to Colombia including ELN commander Nilson “Tulio” Ferreira two weeks ago.