“I want to alert the authorities and the country that we know of the presence of three FARC camps in the state of Alto Apure, on the southwestern border with Colombia,” Méndez said in a press conference.
The Colombian guerrillas in Venezuelan territory “are already extorting” farmers in the state of Alto Apure, the farmers’ chairman said.
The existence of camps as FARC has earlier been denounced by the Venezuelan opposition and Colombian authorities, but the Chávez government so far denies the presence of guerrillas in Venezuela.
Méndez pointed out that the Colombian guerrilla camps were found in the area Sabana de Carmona, on the shores of the river Capanaparo, near of the town of Elorza and on the shores of Rio Arauca.
“We know they’re there, are beginning to extort money from people crossing the area. They were seen in Elorza, making their purchases in Elorza. People are very concerned, especially farmers, because they are already being extorted,” Méndez said.
The association president also mentioned “strange movements” in the border state of Tachira, north of Apure, specifically “near the La Trampa region”.
Méndez accuses security authorities of “apathy” and an unwillingness to address the problems near the 2,219 kilometer Colombian border.