Venezuelan Military Destroys Colombian Paramilitary Camp in Venezuela

Caracas, April 29, 2008 ( – The National Armed Forces of Venezuela has detected and destroyed a camp presumably used by Colombian paramilitaries only 500 meters from Venezuela's border with Colombia in the municipality of Catatumbo, in the state of Zulia.

The camp was discovered on April 24 by military personnel during a routine patrol and reconnaissance as part of Operation Sierra 2008. The operation was initiated on April 17 and is aimed at combating the cultivation of illicit drugs and the cocaine trade from Colombia.

At the premises military fatigues, fire arms, ammunition, explosives, communications technology, camping equipment and armbands from the Auto-defence Units of Colombia (AUC), were found.

The discovery includes dorm-like installations and obstacles used to train paramilitary troops in over 236 sq. miles around the camp consisting of tunnels and obstacle courses and 79 kg of cocaine.

Authorities said four people were also arrested as part of the operation, however details of their identity have not been released.

The training camp was then destroyed by bombs.

President Hugo Chavez warned recently about infiltration by paramilitary groups in the country as part of a US/Colombian plan to destabilise the government and Justice Minister Ramon Rodriguez Chacin has denounced their presence in Caracas neighborhoods.