Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos arrived in Venezuela Monday morning to meet with his counterpart, Hugo Chavez, to discuss crime and trade.
Santos thanked his Venezuelan counterpart for the capture of Medellin drug lord Maximilian Bonilla, alias “Valenciano,” on Monday.
“It [the capture] further demonstrates that if we work together, we will achieve better results. This is a very good welcome gift that you have given us,” Santos told Chavez.
Santos, accompanied by his foreign minister, Maria Angela Holguin, was received with honors from the Venezuelan government for his fourth meeting with Chavez.
The Venezuelan president expressed that Valenciano’s capture was not a timed plan, but rather “a happy coincidence.” He said the drug lord was being moved to Caracas and would later be delivered back to Colombia.
“Know Colombia that we are going to do everything in our power to prevent in Venezuelan territory those who conspire (…) against Colombia, whether drug traffickers, guerrillas, paramilitaries, or other armed forces, who violate or attempt to violate Venezuela’s sovereignty,” Chavez remarked.
Santos said that Valenciano was a “high-valued target” and his capture was “fantastic news”, because his international drug smuggling had caused terrible damage not just in Colombia but throughout the world.
The rest of the leaders’ meeting will deal with economic issues between the two countries, such as trade agreements and energy projects.