A Colombian soldier was detained by Venezuelan authorities Friday when he crossed into the neighboring country. According to the Colombian government the Venezuelan armed forces also blew up a third makeshit border bridge.
Defense Minister Gabriel Silva demanded the immediate release of the soldier, who he said made the mistake of trying to take a shortcut, Colombian media reported.
“We have information a Colombian soldier belonging to the Matamoros Battalion was arrested by the National Guard in Venezuelan territory. The officer serves on the Alta Guajira and to save time he crossed this territory,” he said.
Silva demanded the release of the soldier, saying Colombia has respected the human rights of Venezuelan soldiers detained in Colombia and there should be equal treatment the soldier.
“We expect and demand that just as we have respected members of the National Guard we have captured in our territory, we respect their rights and we have deported them immediately, so we ask that the same would occur with this soldier who, by accident, crossed into Venezuelan territory,” he said.
The head of the Defense Ministry also said officials are investigating the destruction of another bridge in the border community, also destroyed by Venezuelan forces Friday.
“They have blown up another community bridge,” Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva told reporters. “This is another act of aggression and a violation of international rights.”