Venezuela deployed 3,000 soldiers to the border with Colombia after an ambush on Monday attributed to the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) left 12 Colombian troops dead in La Majayura, in the Guajira region. From the El Indio military base, in the north-western state of Zulia, Venezuelan Defence minister Henry Rangel Silva said that his government has launched operation Sentinel, which has so far led to a dozen arrests of Colombian nationals suspected to be linked to the guerrilla attack.
“We are carrying out very specific actions in search of elements of armed groups that may have penetrated into Venezuelan territory”, said Rangel, specifying that the National Bolivarian armed forces (FANB) are not only mobilized on the border “but throughout the territory, permanently… in defence of the national territory”.
Venezuela’s and Colombia’s Foreign ministers, respectively Nicolás Maduro and María Ángela Holguín, met yesterday in Caracas to assess the border security situation. In a joint statement, the two renewed their commitment to “coordinate in the fight against common threats”, also stepping up “communications”. Both agreed on the need to impede “determinate factors from hindering excellent relations between the two nations”.