Venezuela and Colombia Agree to Increase Cooperation on Border Security

Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin traveled Thursday to Caracas to meet with her Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro, seeking to strengthen bilateral cooperation in border security.

By Agencia Venezolana de Noticias
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Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro (AVN)
Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro (AVN)

In the meeting, in which Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez participated by phone, the two foreign ministers agreed to intensify cooperation and exchange of information regarding border areas in order to combat the activities of illegal armed groups in the zone.

In a statement prepared by Holguin and Maduro, the top Venezuelan diplomat confirmed that the two nations would increase information exchange between security organizations and develop new mechanisms to improve security in the border zone.

“The mechanisms will be applied immediately through military cooperation at the level of the regional [military] commands of both countries,” he said.

A press release from the Colombian foreign ministry highlighted Colombia's willingness to continue joint work with Venezuela to reinforce border security and to make sure “the presence of public force of the two countries on the frontier, so as to eliminate corridors which make possible the actions of groups outside the law”.

The meeting was arranged after a confrontation between FARC guerrillas and the Colombian army last Monday, in which 12 soldiers died.

Last Monday President Chavez ordered the reinforcement of the border with Colombia to prevent irregular groups from neighboring Colombia to use Venezuelan territory to encamp or attack military forces.

Chavez made the decision after a phone conversation with his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos, who informed him about the attack.

Editing and additional reportage by Ewan Robertson for Venezuelanalysis.com