The most recent Farc attack, which left 12 soldiers dead in La Guajira, shows that the border between Colombia and Venezuela is a hazy area with little control from either country, something all too clear for guerrillas who often use it to escape authorities by crossing the border.
According to NGONuevo Arcoiris, which specializes in the analysis of the armed conflict, Farc has carried out 612 attacks this year alone. 138 of them occurred on the border with Venezuela, 88 in northern Santander, 24 in Arauca, 12 in La Guajira and 14 in Cesar.
For conflict analysts, the most serious problem is the fact that authorities have no control over the area, on either side of the border. “It’s a gigantic area and Colombia has not established control over the land while Venezuela has been incapable of driving the illegal groups away. Farc and Eln have been in these areas for 30 years and have enlisted the help of local authorities from both countries and secured ties with residents, which allows them to move freely. These attacks are not new (…),” said Luis Eduardo Celis of the Nuevo Arco Iris Corporation.
Violence has increased in the departments of Northern Santander, Arauca, Caquetá and now La Guajira.