Colombia-Venezuela to agree on drug war cooperation

Colombian and Venezuelan minsters will meet on Friday in Cartagena to agree on the protocols in the fight against drugs and to improve the planning of the border security, EFE reported.

Colombia’s Defence Minister Rodrigo Rivera and Venezuela’s Interior and Justice Minister Tarek El Aissami will be present at the meeting.

Last week Rivera said that the meeting will define “the way to act and and share information in real time to confront drug trafficking.”

Colombia hopes that the the problem of kidnapping and extortion at the countries shared border, will also be addressed in the agreements.

“During the last meeting in Caracas we proposed to extend this cooperation to the fight against kidnapping and extortion. They will bring an answer to the document we handed them and we shall see if we can add these crimes in our cooperation,” Rivera stated.

The agreements made in the meeting have to be signed by the presidents of Colombia and Venezuela in their next meeting, scheduled for February 2011.

In a meeting on 10 August in Santa Marta, Colombia and Venezuela agreed that the border security would have priority in their bilateral relations.

At the beginning of November, Venezuela said it would place 15,000 military at the border with Colombia.

On Tuesday, Colombia announced it would extradite suspected drug trafficker Walid Makled to Venezuela rather than to the U.S., which had also requested his extradition. On Wednesday, Venezuela extradited three suspected guerrillas to Colombia, which Colombia considered a “very clear signal” of cooperation between both countries.

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