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Tue Jan 24, 2012, 01:47 AM

Neo-paramilitary groups extend influence along Venezuelan border

Neo-paramilitary groups extend influence along Venezuelan border
Monday, 23 January 2012 16:58
Charles Parkinson

Colombian paramilitary groups have extended their influence along the Venezuelan border, engaging in drug trafficking and forging links with local criminal gangs, reported El Espectador Monday.

Groups such as Los Urabeņos and the Black Eagles, all previously part of the AUC paramilitary organization, have encroached into Venezuela, creating a "bi-national conflict," according to an official in the north east Venezuelan state of Tachira.

Director of Tachira State Police Jesus Berro described the situation as "a real ongoing slaughter," with 20 people killed in recent weeks.

"Terror is the method by which these groups try to silence people, threatening their lives if they do no cooperate," he said, before calling on the governments of Colombia and Venezuela to "establish arrangements to combat these activities."


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