Venezuelan police are collaborating with Colombian paramilitary groups
and committing various crimes, Venezuela’s Ombudsman said Wednesday.
According to Ombudsman Gabriela Ramírez Pérez, the police and paramilitaries are involved in the kidnappings of ranchers and farmers in Zulia, a state in the west of Venezuela and bordering Colombia.
This year over sixty kidnappings took place. Venezuelan authorities contribute these abductions to Colombian paramilitary forces.
“We have seen that the economic power of these groups has affected the Police. There have been many allegations that the Police of the State of Zulia is involved in this type of activity,” the official said Wednesday in Cartagena.
Venezuelan authorities have begun strengthening surveillance on the borders, Ramírez said.
Venezuela’s National Government, run by the leftist President Hugo Chávez, has frequently said Colombian paramilitaries are active in Zulia, an oil-rich state with a strong anti-Chávez opposition.