Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe on Sunday requested the repatriation of the bodies of ten Colombians who were found murdered in Venezuela.
Uribe ordered the Commander of the Colombian Military Forces, General Freddy Padilla, to send a state aircraft to Venezuela in order to collect the bodies and return them to their native Colombia, reported newspaper El Espectador.
However, the entry into Venezuela of the aircraft to collect the bodies, has been denied by Venezuelan authorities. The reason for which has yet to be revealed. Uribe is now in the process of negotiating an overland collection.
Uribe stated that the Presidential Agency for Social Action will provide the necessary assitance and care for the families of the victims and he pledged to bring to justice the perpetrators, who are believed to be terrorist factions.
The ten of the dead are thought to be Colombian merchants who were kidnapped in Venezuelan territory on October 11 whilst playing an amateur football game.
The only known survivor of the massacre, Mauel Junior Cortez, remains under special surveillance and protection from Venezuelan authorities and the Colombian consulate in Caracas.
Authorities confirmed that the situation along the border between Colombia and Venezuela is critical and that it is possible that ELN guerrillas could be responsible for Sunday’s massacre, reported news site Caracol on Monday.