Colombia sent a letter to the Venezuelan foreign ministry on November 21 protesting the incursion of a military helicopter and troops from that nation over the border, the latest in a series of similar incidents that have drawn criticism from Colombia, Reuters reported.
According to a statement issued by Colombia’s foreign ministry, the incident occurred on November 15 and 16 near the town of Tibu in Norte de Santander province. “The events have already been protested by the foreign ministry and there has been a meeting arranged between the foreign ministers to analyze what happened and request that measures be taken to prevent a recurrence,” the statement said.
According to the ministry, during their incursion Venezuelan military forces illegally detained several people and stole from them, having caused damage to several private properties and farms.
Forays by Venezuelan troops into Colombia have increased in recent years, heightening diplomatic tension between the government of Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, with Santos accusing Maduro of destroying democracy in Venezuela, while Maduro has said Colombia is part of an international conspiracy seeking to overthrow his government.
Back in March a Venezuelan military group of about 60 people stayed in Colombia for several days, allegedly as a result of a “mistake”, having broken camp and raising their national flag in Colombia’s Arauca Department.
Colombia and Venezuela share a border of 2,219 km (1,379 miles), over which contraband and illegal drugs frequently pass, according to Reuters.