Farmers from a rural area in Colombia’s Norte de Santander department allege that on Tuesday Venezuelan soldiers crossed the border into Colombia and fired shots into the air.
“They entered firing into the air, passing by houses and a school with children,” said Jose Jesus Rendon, one of the indigenous leaders of San Faustino, which is situated 600 meters from the Venezuelan border.
Rendon reported that the Venezuelan incursion caused panic among locals. The soldiers reportedly returned to their side of the border after a dialogue with San Faustino police.
Since Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez froze diplomatic relations with Colombia almost a year ago, there have been numerous incidents of violence along the border.
This latest incident comes at a critical moment in bilateral relations, after Colombia’s revealed it has evidence that Venezuela is harboring guerrillas.
Colombia is set to present a report on the allegations before the Organization of American States on Thursday, and claims to have satellite photos, videos, and intelligence from rebel deserters that proves several FARC commanders are living in Venezuela, including FARC leader “Ivan Marquez.”
The Venezuelan government has always vehemently denied allegations that guerrillas are hiding in its territory.
Caracas has labelled the evidence “a pathetic media show,” with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez claiming that this is a last-ditch attempt on the part of outgoing Colombian President Alvaro Uribe to sabotage the incoming Colombian government’s relations with Venezuela.
Venezuela broke diplomatic relations in 2009, after Colombia signed a pact granting the U.S. military access to seven Colombian army bases. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez views the pact as an attempt to undermine regional sovereignty.