Four Colombian men who had been arrested by Venezuelan armed forces on the border said Saturday they were tortured while in custody.
The four were part a group of ten Colombians reported missing in the countries’ northern border region since May 22 after Venezuelan armed forces opened an offensive to find the culprits of a guerrilla attack that killed 12 Colombian soldiers the day before.
According to Colombia’s Ombudsman’s Office, the four residents of the northern town of Maicao were deported from Venezuela and “filed complaints … they had been subjected to ‘cruel treatment’ in the El Tigre military base” located in the border state of Zulia.
“They wet us, electrocuted us, they tied us up, they put us on our knees, they hit us, they treated us very cruelly and they did not give us food,” one of the deported Colombians told reporters.
According to the Colombians, they were taken to the Venezuelan capital of Caracol for interrogation and, after local authorities confirmed they had falsely been accused of being FARC guerrillasm were flown back to the border and handed over to Colombian immigration authorities.
Families of the disappeared men alerted local media after their loved ones had vanished and in some cases were seen being arrested by Venezuelan soldiers.