Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Saturday said his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez called him to say that the socialist country had begun operations against illegal armed groups in the country.
According to Santos, Chavez called him on his cell phone on Friday evening to inform the Colombian President of the arrest of reputed drug trafficker “Beto Marin” on the Caribbean Isla Margarita
“He reaffirmed me his willingness to not allow the presence of illegal groups on his territory and told me he had begun operations in different regions to ensure to meet this goal, for which I thanked him,” Santos told press.
According to Colombia’s former President Alvaro Uribe, leaders of Colombian guerrilla groups FARC and ELN are hiding in Venezuela. According to Chaves, Colombian paramilitary groups have also crossed the border.
Following a spat between Uribe and Chavez about Venezuela’s alleged inaction against guerrillas, Venezuela shut down trade and cut diplomatic ties. Following the August 7 inauguration of Santos, both countries reestablished ties and installed commissions to improve trade and border security.