Colombian paramilitaries attacked Venezuelan security forces on
Venezuelan territory, the country’s President Hugo Chavez said Sunday.
“Last night they informed me that there had been a shooting [when] Bolivarian law enforcement, intelligence were following a trail,” Chavez said.
According to the Venezuelan President, the officials were taken under fire between the Zulia and Tachira state, that are both governed by opposition politicians.
“[There are] many signs of a paramilitary force” in this region, Chavez said and continued to accuse the two governors of trying to undermine federal authority in the region through the deployment of of Colombian paramilitary forces.
“We know the game you are playing with the motherland,” Chavez said without explicitly naming the governors of Zulia, Pablo Perez, and Tachira, Cesar Perez.
The President’s claims were supported by Venezuelan journalist and former vice-President under Chavez, Jose Vicente Rangel, who denounced “an increase in Colombian paramilitary presence in the state of Zulia with the consent of the authorities of this federal entity.”
The Governors of the two states deny paramilitarie ties or paramilitary presence in their territory and say Chavez is seeking scapegoats to blame for his failing security policies.