Venezuela’s security forces have killed four FARC dissidents, newspaper El Tiempo reported Wednesday.
The guerrillas reportedly died in combat with Venezuela’s National Guard on Saturday in Jesus Enrique Lossada, a municipality some 50 kilometers from the border with Colombia.
Neither Colombian nor Venezuelan authorities have confirmed El Tiempo’s claims.
Citing Venezuelan military documents, the newspaper reported that the slain guerrillas identified themselves as FARC dissidents before they and the Venezuelan soldiers opened fire at each other.
Two of the guerrillas abandoned the FARC reintegration site in Los Robles de La Paz, 20 kilometers west of the two countries’ border on January 28, 24 hours before fugitive FARC congressman “Jesus Santrich,” the newspaper reported without citing any sources.
The identities of the other two alleged FARC dissidents, a man and a woman, were reportedly still being verified by Venezuelan authorities.
Two members of the Venezuelan National Guard were reportedly injured in the firefight that took place in the vicinity of a military compound in the Zulia state.
Following the combat, Venezuelan soldiers found 14 detonators, one R-15 rifle and two shotguns in the vehicle used by the FARC guerrillas, according to El Tiempo.
The newspaper reported that the identified FARC members used the same route that, according to Colombian military intelligence, was used by Santrich to meet with “Ivan Marquez,” the FARC’s former political chief who has been missing for a year.
The newspaper did not say how it got such specific information. The MI claim that Santrich and Marquez would in Venezuela has not been confirmed by reliable sources and there exists no information of FARC dissident activity in that part of the border region.
The report coincides with the authorized visit of FARC Senator Carlos Lozada to Caracas for the Sao Paulo forum, an annual event of Latin American leftist parties and social organizations.