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What’s Behind the Conflict on the Venezuela-Colombia Border?

Frontera, El American

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A report produced by the Center for a Secure Free Society (SFS) shows the warlike reality hidden behind the Venezuela-Colombia border, where armed criminal groups fight over territory and control of drug trafficking routes.

According to the investigation, titled Arauca, Tension on the Colombia-Venezuela Border—which is the first part of a special called Border Wars—the border territory is where FARC dissidents, the ELN, and military groups of Nicolás Maduro’s regime converge, with support from Russia, China, Iran, and Hezbollah.

National security expert and FSS executive director Joseph Humire says that behind the “biggest migration crisis in Colombia’s history” there is much more than just migrants.

“When you go to the Colombian-Venezuelan border what you find is international drug trafficking, international terrorism, transnational organized crime, espionage, intelligence, external actors: Russia, Iran, China, Hezbollah, Cuba, and a geopolitical scenario that is different from anything we have seen in Latin America in our modern history,” Humire said.

For the specialist, who also directed the research, the city of Arauca is a “conflict zone” in which “brutal attacks” are registered daily against the police and the army, including bombs, landmines, kidnappings and assassinations.

The real purpose of the war in the Venezuela-Colombia border

Humire met with top Colombian Army commanders and embarked with the navy on a patrol of the Arauca River in order to answer one question: “How does the conflict in Arauca benefit the Maduro regime, and why is Russia collaborating?”

A war between the Venezuelan regime and Colombian guerrillas for control of territory is itching and spreading. Colombia has been forced to deploy army troops to ensure the security of communities after 2022 began with at least 23 brutal killings at the hands of criminal groups.

The research suggests that the conflict in Arauca has benefited the Venezuelan regime given the disinformation campaign it has waged against Colombia’s democratic government.

In Humire’s words, the aim of the campaign is to “establish a false moral equivalence between the democratically elected Duque government in Colombia and the usurping and illegitimate regime of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.

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