Local police on Monday asked the Colombian Foreign Ministry to investigate an armed Venezulean helicopter’s violation of Colombian airspace in a rural area of the eastern Arauca department on the weekend.
The Venezuelan helicopter flew 5 kms into Colombian territory, and over a small town in Arauca, according to local Governor Luis Eduardo Ataya.
Local inhabitants reported that the helicopter flew over the local police station for several minutes, before returning to Venezuelan territory.
This is the second time Venezuela has allegedly violated Colombian airspace this year. Colombian President Alvaro Uribe demanded an explanation from Venezuela when a similar incident occured in Arauca in January.
The accusation of airspace violation follows the alleged detention of two more Colombian citizens on suspicion of espionage by Venezuelan authorities, in the Venezuelan state that borders Arauca.
Last month Venezuelan authorities detained eight Colombians on suspicion of espionage. Four of the detainees have been released due to lack of evidence.
Diplomatic ties between Colombia and Venezuela were severed in 2009, after Colombia signed a controversial pact with the U.S. which grants the Americans access to seven Colombian military bases. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says that the pact is part of a scheme by the U.S. to undermine sovereignty in the region.
Colombia and Venezuela have intermittently locked horns since Chavez took office more than a decade ago. Venezuela often complains about spillover from Colombia’s long guerrilla war, while Colombian President Alvaro Uribe’s government says Chavez has not done enough to stop FARC guerrillas from taking refuge the Venezuelan border.