By Hector Pereira |

Caracas/Bogotá (EFE).- The surveillance that Colombia and Venezuela exercise over their 2,219 kilometers of common border is about to change amid the restoration of bilateral relations, which implies a new security approach for this area border where terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking and smuggling are present.

The will of the Venezuelan and Colombian presidents, Nicolás Maduro and Gustavo Petro, respectively, to resume military and judicial cooperation is accompanied by a joint effort to eradicate or, at least, mitigate the binational scourges that each country indicates as imported.

On Maduro’s side, so far this year the so-called ‘Colombian armed terrorists and drug traffickers’ (‘tancol’) have had 57 illegal airstrips and the same number of drug labs uncovered and bombed in states like Apure and Zulia.

Meanwhile, in the Petro Trench, authorities are battling the Venezuelan criminal mega-gang “El tren de Aragua”, which is waging vendettas in Bogotá for control of micro-drug trafficking areas and whose actions include a illicit broad spectrum in Colombia and other Latin American countries.

A Colombian policeman works in the security of people crossing the border between Colombia and Venezuela in Cúcuta (Colombia). EFE / Mario Caicedo

Guerrillas and drugs

The Colombian administration has spent years accusing the so-called Bolivarian Revolution of being a sanctuary for guerrillas, who found state protection and consent across the border, as highlighted the last three rulers of New Granada.

Now, with the unprecedented victory of Petro’s left, attention on this issue will be – as the president pointed out – joint, to the point that Venezuela agreed last week to be the guarantor of a new process of dialogue with the ELN guerrillas, not even a date set for the start of peace negotiations.

The announcement breaks the taboo that Chavismo has maintained on the subject, as it has been months without taking into account the numerous accusations by the Colombian authorities, according to which guerrillas have been killed in the oil country.

But there is also a file in which the voice of denunciation is carried by Venezuela: drug trafficking. Almost daily, the army and the police report the seizure of narcotics having belonged to the “tancol”, which is attributed the responsibility for the movement of more than 30 tons of illicit substances this year alone.

“Venezuela neither produces nor consumes narcotics”, a statement that sums up the blame insistently attributed by Chavismo to its neighbor, the “world leader” who intends to sell drugs through the northernmost territory of America from South.

People transit through the border area between Colombia and Venezuela in Cúcuta (Colombia). EFE / Mario Caicedo

hot zone

Precisely to combat these crimes, the Venezuelan state embarked on a crusade in January that knows no ideologies in the state of Apure, where clashes continue, with less intensity, between the military and Colombian groups outside -la-loi, including dissidents from the demobilized FARC guerrillas. .

The fire left six “terrorists neutralized” according to the latest Venezuelan report (published in March), while the number of displaced people to Colombia exceeds 6,000, according to estimates by humanitarian organizations.

In addition, another 6,155 people were imprisoned in Venezuela, including an unknown number of Colombians.

In any case, Apure has become the epicenter of binational security and defense conflicts, especially after the historic discovery this year of antipersonnel mines in this lowland region, which Venezuela also attributes to “tancol”.

On the other hand, Colombia has detained thousands of Venezuelans who, despite making up less than 2% of the prison population, commit “sinister” contract killings, a problem Bogotá Mayor Claudia López has pointed out. repeatedly denounced.

A group of people cross an illegal path on the border between Colombia and Venezuela in Cúcuta (Colombia). EFE / Mario Caicedo

But crimes perpetrated by Venezuelans, according to official information, are recorded in 30 of Colombia’s 32 departments, so the authorities hope to take advantage of the restoration of relations to attack the gangs who manage extortion networks from the prisons of the country. Caribbean countries. , drug trafficking and human trafficking.

This last reality has caught the attention of Venezuelan justice in recent months, when the public prosecutor’s office began to report numerous cases of people detained for these events, linked to migration which, in the last five years, has removed almost seven million people.

These countries will also face old ghosts, among which the smuggling of gasoline stands out, which in Venezuela is much cheaper, which has always been a breeding ground for smugglers, including agents of the public forces of both nations who guard the border.

The historical brothers will not be able to forget in their security plan the indigenous population, which mainly inhabits some of these border areas and has suffered a differentiated impact from the clashes and the breakdown of relations.

Web editor: Sebastián Bayona

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