Colombian authorities Friday said they believe that FARC leader “Grannobles” is hiding out in a Venezuelan border town. Venezuela denied the claims, calling it a new “provocation” on the part of the Colombian government.
Arauca Governor Luis Eduardo Ataya said that intelligence services have intercepted FARC communications which indicated that German “Grannobles” Briceno Suarez is in the Venezuelan town of Elorza, in the Apure department.
“The president of the republic and all the authorities are aware of this fact. So I’m not saying anything new, I’m simply confirming what authorities have found out through intelligence, which is that the guerrilla has moved to Venezuela,” Ataya said.
The governor added that the border area has been “permeated” by FARC and ELN guerrillas.
“According to authorities, many of the FARC and ELN leaders are in Venezuela, including this ‘Mr Grannobles,’ and they live there without receiving any problems from the Venezuelan authorities,” Ataya continued.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro on Friday denied Colombia’s claims, saying that the country “seeks to tarnish Venezuela’s prestige [by linking it] with drug trafficking,” Maduro said.
The Colombian government is offering a reward of $2.5 million for information leading to the capture of Grannobles or other FARC leaders.