HomeNewsBrief'Venezuela, Colombia Security Forces Talk Daily': Santos
BRIEF

'Venezuela, Colombia Security Forces Talk Daily': Santos

COLOMBIA / 19 JUL 2012 BY MICHAEL KANE EN

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced at a meeting of high-ranking Colombian military officials that regional security commanders from Colombia and Venezuela have, for the first time ever, “almost daily communication.”

The meeting, aimed at discussing security issues on the Colombia-Venezuela border, included a report by members of the military which detailed the coordination between the two countries’ security forces. Santos extolled the apparent step forward, saying it would “allow us to be much more effective in the fight against... terrorism, [and] crime on the border.”

The president also explained other measures taken by security forces in La Guajira, the border department where the conference was being held, in order to combat violence, including the arrest of 16 members of the Urabeños criminal group.

InSight Crime Analysis

Various indicators point to Venezuela as a safe haven and pathway for Colombian drug traffickers and armed groups. There are widespread reports that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN) use Venezuela as a base from which to launch attacks on Colombian security forces. This past January, a massacre in a Venezuelan border town was a violent spillover from the ongoing war between Colombian gangs the Urabeños and Rastrojos.

The announcement of greater cooperation in La Guajira comes just weeks after a cross-border incursion by the FARC killed 12 Colombian soldiers in the department. Colombian authorities asserted that after the attack, the assailants fled into Venezuela. President Hugo Chavez responded by mobilizing two brigades of 3,000 troops to find the perpetrators, adding to the 15,000 troops sent to the border in March. Within days, 10 suspects had been arrested and extradited to Colombia.

Despite the show of solidarity on the part of the Venezuelan government, Rocio San Miguel, the head of Venezuelan NGO Citizen’s Control for Security, Defence and the Armed Forces, contended shortly after the attack that the only way to properly secure the border “is through effective cooperation between units led by middle-ranking officers, with permanent patrolling, and cooperation on intelligence and communications.” If there is indeed daily contact between regional commanders, this is a step in the right direction, but ultimately more important than the quantity of the communication is the quality.

Another concrete sign of the increased cooperation between the Venezuelan and Colombian security forces is the number of high-profile drug traffickers arrested. Since last month’s cross-border attack, Venezuela and Colombia have collaborated to capture Diego Rastrojo, leader of the Rastrojos, a group which has largely controlled the drug trafficking corridors along the border. Reports indicate that he was captured by Venezuelan authorities with intelligence gathered by Colombian and US agents.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 5 JUL 2022

Up to seven commanders belonging to the dissident FARC have been killed in Colombia and Venezuela in the last year.

COCAINE / 9 FEB 2021

Over the last five years, the cocaine trade has enjoyed an unprecedented boom, with production levels at record highs.

COLOMBIA / 5 APR 2021

A sophisticated human trafficking network dismantled in Colombia, illustrates a pattern in how Venezuelan citizens, particularly women, are recruited.

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…