The Minister of Defense of Venezuela, Vladimir Padrino, lamented on Wednesday the death in combat of eight soldiers, at a time when the authorities have reported clashes with illegal armed groups in an area of the border Colombia since last March.
In a brief obituary notice on the ministry’s website, Padrino offered the names of the eight deceased uniformed men, but did not give any details about what happened.
Earlier, the Army Commander, Major General Domingo Hernández, said in a message on his Twitter account that Sergeants Wilmer Ferrebus, Santiago Reyes Farfán, Andy José Miranda and Ronald José Marcano Castillo “They fell in the field of honor for the defense of the fatherland”. These four soldiers are part of the group listed by Minister Padrino.
The Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday that since the weekend they were developing “Bloody combats (…) with Colombian illegal armed groups” in unpopulated areas near the town of La Victoria, in the Páez municipality of Apure state, a region near the border. He reported that there were deaths on both sides, he did not report a figure.
Since March 21, the Venezuelan authorities have reported on these clashes in Apure, in clashes that human rights activists in the area say have caused the flight to Colombia of at least 5,000 people.
The NGO FundaRedes said on Wednesday in its social network account that “The armed confrontation (…) continues in the border area.”
Some of the corpses of Venezuelan soldiers killed in the skirmish over the weekend were recovered by representatives of the Catholic Church, according to activist and veteran politician in the area Walter Márquez, in a message on his Twitter account. The Episcopal Conference of Venezuela He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The activist group Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Monday that the Venezuelan military operation in Apure since March “resulted in the execution of at least four peasants, arbitrary detentions, the prosecution of civilians before military courts, and the torture of residents accused of collaborating. with illegal armed groups ”.
The Information Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Vivian Sequera and Anngy Polanco. Editing Brian Ellsworth, Gabriela Donoso.)
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.