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Duque orders transfer of two battalions due to guerrilla violence in Colombia

The Colombian president, Iván Duque, ordered this Monday the dispatch of two army battalions to the department of Arauca, on the border with Venezuela, to confront the violence among the dissidents of the FARC and the THE N that leave at least 24 dead.

LOOK: Colombia confirms 24 deaths in fighting between the ELN and FARC dissidents on the border with Venezuela

“I have ordered two battalions to be deployed to support the task of territorial control in the next 72 hours,” said the head of state, referring to the situation of violence that plagues the municipalities of Tame, Fortul, Saravena and Arauquita.

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According to Tame’s official, Juan Carlos Villate, clashes between FARC dissidents and the National Liberation Army (ELN) left 24 people killed in the first two days of this year.

The president, who led a security meeting in Cartagena de Indias in which he reviewed the strategy of the Defense sector with the high military and police commanders, insisted that in Venezuela it provides refuge and protects the two Colombian guerrillas.

“These groups (the dissidents of the FARC and the ELN) have been operating at ease in Venezuelan territory with the consent and protection of the dictatorial regime,” stressed the Colombian ruler.

Duque explained that to confront the guerrillas, intelligence and counterintelligence and aviation will be strengthened in Arauca, where drones will also be used to anticipate the movements of illegal armed groups.

He indicated that a “follow-up will be carried out at all the points where we know that illegal armed groups are crossing the border, are also committing crimes in Venezuela, and crimes in Colombia and they intend to blend in at those border crossings.”

He also said that he will denounce before international bodies “the coexistence, the protection that the dictatorial regime of Nicolás Maduro has given to these criminal structures.”

Arauca is an oil and agricultural department where decades ago the Eastern War Front of the ELN, the most powerful of that guerrilla, became strong, now challenged by the 10th Front of the FARC dissidents.

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