by Hector Pereira |

Caracas / Bogotá (EFE) .- The surveillance that Colombia and Venezuela carry out on their 2,219 kilometers of common border is about to transform itself in the midst of the reestablishment of bilateral relations, which implies a new security approach for this border area in which they are present terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking and smuggling.

The desire of the presidents of Venezuela and Colombia, respectively Nicolás Maduro and Gustavo Petro, to resume military and judicial cooperation brings with it a joint effort to eradicate or at least mitigate the binational scourges that each country indicates as imported.

On Maduro’s side, until this year, the so-called “Colombian armed terrorists and drug traffickers” (“tancol”) have had 57 illegal airstrips and as many drug laboratories discovered and bombed in states such as Apure and Zulia.

Meanwhile, in the Petro trench, the authorities are fighting against the Venezuelan criminal mega-gang “El tren de Aragua”, which in Bogotá makes revenge for the control of areas destined for micro-drug trafficking and whose actions include a wide spectrum of illicit Colombia and other Latin American countries.

A Colombian policeman works in the safety of people crossing the border between Colombia and Venezuela in Cúcuta (Colombia). EFE / Mario Caicedo

Guerrilla and drugs

The Colombian administration has spent years accusing the so-called Bolivarian revolution of being a sanctuary for the guerrillas, who have found the protection and support of the state on the other side of the border, or so the last three leaders of New Granada have pointed out.

Now, with Petro’s unprecedented left-wing victory, the focus on this issue will be – as the president remarked – joint, to the point that Venezuela last week agreed to vouch for a new process of dialogue with the guerrillas of the ‘ELN, even with no date set for the start of peace negotiations.

The announcement breaks the taboo that Chavismo has maintained on the subject, as months have passed without taking into consideration numerous accusations by the Colombian authorities, according to which some guerrillas have been killed in the oil country.

But there is also an issue in which the voice of the complaint is brought from Venezuela: drug trafficking. Almost daily, the military and police denounce the seizure of drugs belonging to the “tancols”, who this year alone are attributed the responsibility of having moved more than 30 tons of illicit substances.

“Venezuela does not produce or consume narcotics,” a statement that sums up the blame insistently attributed by Chavismo to its neighbor, the “world leader” who intends to sell drugs through the northernmost territory of South America.

People transit in the area of ​​the border between Colombia and Venezuela in Cúcuta (Colombia). EFE / Mario Caicedo

hot zone

Precisely to combat these crimes, the Venezuelan state embarked on a crusade in January that knows no ideologies in the state of Apure, where the clashes continue, with less intensity, between the military and Colombian groups outlawed, including dissidents of the demobilized guerrilla of the FARC. .

The fire left six “neutralized terrorists” according to the latest Venezuelan assessment (published in March), while the number of displaced people in Colombia exceeds 6,000, according to estimates by humanitarian organizations.

In addition, another 6,155 people ended up in jail in Venezuela, including an unknown number of Colombians.

In any case, Apure has become the epicenter of the binational controversies in matters of security and defense, especially after the historic discovery this year of anti-personnel mines in that lowland region, something that Venezuela also attributes to “tancol”.

On the other hand, Colombia has arrested thousands of Venezuelans who, while representing less than 2% of the prison population, commit “sad” commission murders, a problem that the mayor of Bogotá, Claudia López, has denounced on several occasions.

A group of people cross an illegal track on the border between Colombia and Venezuela in Cúcuta (Colombia). EFE / Mario Caicedo

But the crimes perpetrated by Venezuelans, according to official information, are recorded in 30 of Colombia’s 32 departments, so the authorities hope to use the re-establishment of ties to attack gangs running extortion networks from the Caribbean country’s prisons, drug trafficking. and human trafficking.

The latter reality has caught the attention of the Venezuelan justice in recent months, when the prosecutor’s office has begun to notify numerous cases of people detained for these events, linked to the migration that has taken away almost seven million people in the last five years.

These countries will also face old ghosts, notably gasoline smuggling, which is much cheaper in Venezuela, which has always been a smuggler’s forge, including agents of the public forces of the two nations that guard the border.

The historical brothers will not be able to forget the indigenous population in their security plan, which mostly inhabits some of these border areas and has suffered a differentiated impact from the clashes and the breakdown of relations.

Web editing: Sebastián Bayona

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