More than 3,000 Venezuelans have fled to Colombia in recent days to protect themselves from armed confrontations between the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) and apparently a dissident group of the former FARC guerrilla, which has the Colombian authorities in alarm.
For the fighting, which has been taking place since Sunday in the Venezuelan state of Hurry, bordering the Colombian department of Arauca, “More than 3,100 people have had to be forcibly displaced to find protection”, As the Colombian Foreign Ministry warned this Wednesday.
Last Monday, the mayor of the municipality of Arauquita, Etelivar Torres, had warned of the arrival in that border town and belonging to the department of Arauca, of at least 161 Venezuelans who sought to protect themselves from armed confrontations.
In view of “The serious humanitarian effects on civil society”, the Foreign Ministry made “a call to the international community to join in the assistance” that the Colombian authorities lend in the Arauca region, where there is also a strong presence of the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla and FARC dissidents.
The Ombudsman’s Office of Colombia installed a humanitarian commission in Arauquita to assist the thousands of Venezuelans who have arrived in that border area since Monday and are in temporary shelters.
APPOINTMENTS TO FARC DISSIDENCIES
Human Rights Watch director for the Americas, José Miguel Vivanco, expressed his concern for the more than 3,000 “Venezuelans who have arrived in Arauquita (Colombia) fleeing confrontations between the Venezuelan military and FARC dissidents.”
Venezuelan migrants remain in a citizen integration center in Arauquita, a border town in the department of Arauca, Colombia. (EFE / Jebrail Mosquera Contreras).
“We are monitoring the situation. The dictatorship and armed groups must respect the civilian population”Vivanco said on his Twitter account.
The Colombian government has indicated on several occasions that the Nicolás Maduro regime protects ELN leaders and FARC dissidents who rejected the peace agreement signed in November 2016.
For his part, Colombian Senator Feliciano Valencia warned that among the more than 3,000 displaced “as a result of the armed confrontations on the border between Colombia and Venezuela, in Apure state, there are 40 families (200 people) of the Makaguán indigenous people, that inhabited the La Soledad community in Venezuela ”.
“Added to the threat of the pandemic is the armed conflict that puts the physical and cultural disappearance of the Makaguán people at risk”The indigenous congressman warned about the displaced population installed in the El Vigía Indigenous Educational Center, in Arauquita.
TWO MILITARY KILLED IN Clash
The FANB reported on Monday that two Venezuelan soldiers were killed in a confrontation with irregular groups of Colombia in Apure.
More than 3,000 Venezuelans have fled to Colombia in recent days. (EFE / Jebrail Mosquera Contreras).
The military institution explained in a statement that “clashes were held with irregular Colombian armed groups,” which resulted in the death of the military and, furthermore, “as a result of these encounters, one of the leaders known as alias El Nando was neutralized.” .
After the fighting, the Venezuelan authorities captured another 32 people, although their identities or nationalities are not known, they destroyed six camps in the area and seized a hitherto undetermined amount of weapons, ammunition, explosives, war supplies, vehicles and drugs. .
In addition, the Venezuelan NGO Fundaredes denounced that the clashes continue in Apure, where alleged FARC dissidents affected the electrical structure of the La Victoria sector and attacked military installations with explosives.
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 the opposition leader Juan Guaidó to cross the border from the Colombian city of Cúcuta in front of a humanitarian aid caravan.
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.