Soldiers colombians They carried out a military exercise this Saturday in a battalion of the Caribbean department of La Guajira, bordering Venezuela, and Defense Minister Diego Molano assured that the country is prepared to respond to any international threat.
“This exercise, which is carried out routinely, was intended to determine the capabilities and training that our National Army has in the border areas, particularly in La Guajira,” Molano told journalists in the Military Canton of Buenavista, in La Guajira.
During the exercise, the National Army Combined Arms Task Force exhibited artillery pieces, special squadrons, Black Hawk helicopters, ‘Spike’ anti-tank systems and fire systems, among others.
Molano stressed that the Armed Forces of Colombia are trained to respond to any threat that interferes with the security of Colombians.
“The protection of Colombians is a commitment that goes from La Guajira to the Amazon. That is why we have this Combined Force to guarantee the tranquility of Colombians and protect them from any threat that interferes with their security,” he said.
According to the senior official, the main threat facing the authorities at the border is “drug trafficking”, a “transnational crime” and he affirmed that “some of the illegal armed groups seek to use drug trafficking routes leaving Venezuela.”
Molano assured that on the border with Venezuela there are several groups that dispute the drug trafficking business – the National Liberation Army (ELN) and two FARC dissidents – with “the collusion of the Bolivarian Military Forces.”
Colombia and Venezuela share a border of 2,219 kilometers, but their diplomatic relations have been broken since February 23, 2019 by order of Maduro, after an attempt by opposition leader Juan Guaidó to cross the border from the Colombian city of Cúcuta in front of a caravan humanitarian aid.
The Combined Arms Task Force, in charge of the exercises, is responsible for guaranteeing Colombian security and defense in the eastern region of the department of La Guajira and is made up of mechanized infantry companies and helicopter units.
VIOLENCE AT THE BORDER
On March 21, fighting broke out in the Venezuelan state of Apure between the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) and an armed group identified by various organizations working in the area as FARC dissidents.
So far, no official or military source has confirmed which group they are fighting against, although the military has released photos showing seized uniforms bearing the logos and acronyms of the former FARC guerrilla.
As a result of the fighting, some 6,000 people have fled the area and crossed the Arauca border river to take shelter in the Colombian municipalities located on its shore, especially in the town of Arauquita.
“The decision of our Military Forces and President (Iván) Duque is to support this humanitarian situation, so that the more than 5,700 Venezuelans and Colombians who are there can return safely,” said Molano this Saturday.
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