• Thursday, Oct 28, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:29 am

Colombia says attack on president was planned from Venezuela

  • Published at 12:35 am July 23rd, 2021
Colombia President Ivan Duque
Colombia's President Ivan Duque speaks during an interview with Reuters in Bogota, Colombia, March 12, 2021. REUTERS

Shots were fired at Duque's helicopter on June 25

The Colombian government claimed Thursday that a recent attack on President Ivan Duque's helicopter was planned from neighboring Venezuela by dissident FARC guerillas and a former Colombian army officer.

Three of the alleged perpetrators have been arrested, defense minister Diego Molano told reporters, adding: "It is clear that this attack against the president... was planned from Venezuela."

Duque's helicopter was approaching Cucuta airport on a flight from Sardinata on June 25 when several shots -- apparently from rifles -- were fired at it.

Duque was flying with Molano, Interior Minister Daniel Palacios and other officials.

No one on board was injured, but photos released by the president's office showed the helicopter's tail and main blade had been hit.

One of those held over the attack is Andres Fernando Medina, a retired Colombian army captain "who designed and executed the plan," Attorney General Francisco Barbosa said Thursday.

Investigators said they had found two Venezuelan army AK47 assault rifles not far from the scene of the attack. 

Ten days earlier, in the same region, an attack on a military base injured 44.

"Behind these two acts are the 33rd Front of the FARC dissidents," said Barbosa.

Apart from Medina and his alleged accomplices in the Duque shooting, Colombian authorities have also arrested seven people for their alleged involvement in the military base attack.

All the arrests took place in the border area with Venezuela, where dissident guerillas who distanced themselves from the FARC's 2016 peace deal with the government are engaged in battles over disputed drug trafficking routes with paramilitary groups and the ELN, Colombia's last active guerilla group.

Duque has on numerous occasions accused Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of harboring FARC dissidents and ELN fighters in his country.

On Thursday, Molano charged that "the Maduro regime continues to shelter terrorists, from where attacks against Colombian institutions are planned."

The two neighbors have not had diplomatic ties since 2019, when Colombia joined other countries in rejecting Maduro's disputed reelection.

They share a border of some 2,200 kilometers (1,370 miles).

Colombia, the world's major cocaine producer, is experiencing its worst resurgence of violence since the 2016 peace pact. 

53
Facebook 51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail