Colombia Arrests Suspect in Assassination of Venezuelan Tupamaro

Colombian authorities say they have arrested an alleged paramilitary fighter accused of assassinating a Venezuelan politician earlier this year.

By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim

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File photo of former Venezuelan deputy legislator Cesar Vera, who was killed earlier this year in a suspected paramilitary attack. (Archive)
File photo of former Venezuelan deputy legislator Cesar Vera, who was killed earlier this year in a suspected paramilitary attack. (Archive)
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Puebla, Mexico, August 26th 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Colombian authorities say they have arrested an alleged paramilitary fighter accused of assassinating a Venezuelan politician earlier this year.

Venezuelan national Luis Alberto Ramirez Camacho was arrested by Colombian police in the border town of Cucuta on Saturday, National Police colonel Luis Humberto Poveda Zapata stated.

Poveda said Ramirez was arrested under an Interpol red notice and allegations he is a member of the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC). The AGC is one of Colombia’s largest far right paramilitary groups.

According to Poveda, Ramirez is a suspect in the killing of Venezuelan deputy legislator Cesar Vera. Vera was gunned down in March outside a corner store in Tachira.

Tachira state lies on the Venezuela-Colombia border and is a notorious hotbed for political unrest, as well as food and drug smuggling.

Vera himself was a member of the Venezuelan leftist militia, the Tupamaros. In December 2015, he was elected as a stand in legislator representing the pro-government political coalition, the GPP.

Poveda said Vera was killed “in retaliation for his struggle against smuggling groups that commit crimes on the border between Colombia and Venezuela”.

Colombian authorities say the AGC controls the most lucrative drug smuggling routes in the country’s east, and has been accused of a slew of human rights violations.

In 2014, another alleged AGC member was arrested in connection with the assassination of Venezuelan leftist politician Robert Serra and his assistant, Maria Herrera.

The latest arrest came a week after Venezuela and Colombia temporarily reopened their shared border, after a year long shutdown.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the shutdown in 2015, in the wake of a paramilitary attack on Venezuelan military forces near the border. The attack prompted a massive security crackdown by the Venezuelan government.

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