Colombia’s border region with Venezuela is plagued by illegal armed groups trying to control smuggling routes, Caracol TV reported Monday.
The violence takes place in and around border city Cucuta where even the two countries’ main border crossing came under attack over the weekend.
Four people have been killed in 13 attacks carried out in the past month by unidentified armed groups, reported Caracol.
According to local authorities, groups from the Venezuelan side of the border have tried to remove police from the area and take control of illegal border crossings important for smuggling.
The mayor of border town Villa del Rosario said “we don’t understand why the Venezuelan security forces didn’t act.”
Colombia’s border has always been porous. However, an ongoing political and economic crisis going on in Venezuela has increased tensions.
Drug traffickers have also increasingly become interested in Venezuela to smuggle cocaine from central Colombia to the United States or Europe.
Diplomatic ties with the troubled nation’s government is virtually non-existent over Colombian disagreement with Venezuela’s increasingly authoritarian government.