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In this segment of Lo Que Importa, our co-editor-in-chief, Vanessa Vallejo, sat down with Joseph Humire, an expert on trans-regional threats in the West and executive director of the Center for a Secure Free Society. They discussed the future of narcoterrorism on the Colombia-Venezuela border now that former guerrilla Gustavo Petro will assume presidential office.
Petro, a leftist extremist, has reportedly made a pact with extraditable prisoners to obtain the support of drug traffickers and powerful criminals in exchange for not deporting them. This includes so-called “frontline” urban terrorists and FARC guerrillas.
In addition, the president-elect’s relationship with Nicolás Maduro and the guerrillas living in Venezuelan territory make the Venezuelan border a key terrain for Colombia’s new government.
Humire warns that Maduro’s dictatorship is mobilizing its troops in Venezuela, with the support of anti-Western enemies such as Russia, China, and Iran, for a series of joint military exercises known as Army Games to take place in mid-August.
“It’s the biggest military exercise Russia does every year,” the specialist explained. “They usually do the exercises in several countries in their neighborhood: in Belarus, Central Asia, Iran, Vietnam, but for the first time, they are going to do it in Venezuela.”
According to Humire’s assessment, these military exercises are “pretexts” used by the Russians to train their troops for future military operations. “I am not saying that they are going to invade Colombia,” he clarified, “but I do believe that they are going to use this moment to deploy military from these countries in a way they have never done before.”
Colombian terrorist groups, such as the FARC and ELN, have a high degree of control in the border areas on the Venezuelan side. With Gustavo Petro in power, according to Humire, the danger of these groups expanding is much greater.
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