Minister of Defense Rodrigo Riviera explained on Monday that Venezuelan and Colombian authorities have been working together to detain and deport captured guerrillas. The relationship between the two countries is “on the right track,” as Riviera explained.
“We’re talking about a porous border where we have to act together both countries face the challenge of transnational crime and I can say that today there is no border sanctuaries for these criminals to hide,” said Rivera.
On April 9 the two countries signed a bilateral agreement to combat drug trafficking. Riviera explained that every time authorities provided information regarding guerrillas in Venezuela, they have been arrested and deported to Colombia.
“They have delivered us criminals belonging to the FARC and the ELN during the last few months every time we have been able to give them information,” the senior official said.
He attributed the recent arrest of the FARC’s right hand man, alias “Julian Conrado,” to the relationship between the two countries.
“In this case, Venezuelan authorities have demonstrated cooperation and how the relationship has changed positively, [Conrado] was captured there and we’re waiting for the proper procedures and protocols so that Colombia can be delivered this FARC terrorist,” said Riviera.
The defense minister also announced an upcoming summit meeting between the military and police of both Colombia and Venezuela as a part of the bilateral agreement to combat international crime.
Rivera’s remarks follow comments by Colombia’s Armed Forces commander Admiral Edgar Cely, who on Sunday said that the FARC and ELN are still hiding from Colombian authorities in the neighboring country. According to the armed forces chief, this has not changed since former President Alvaro Uribe accused his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez of harboring terrorists.