Venezuela to militarize Colombian border

Venezuela plans to build five military bases along its border with Colombia, Justice Minister Tarek El Aissami announced Nov. 9 on a visit to the mountainous border zone, saying the bases will help President Hugo Chavez’s government fight drug smuggling, extortion and kidnapping. The bases will run along the Sierra de Perijá, a range that follows the 2,300-kilometer border. Chávez says Venezuela is doing all possible to crack down on Colombian guerillas, paramilitaries and other criminal groups that operate along the frontier. (Canadian Press, Nov. 9)

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