Americas

Colombia accuses Venezuela of harboring 1,500 rebels

A Colombian diplomat said officials have proof that Venezuela is allowing about 1,500 left-wing rebels to roam freely on its soil.

The allegations against Venezuela were announced at an Organizations of American States meeting in Washington D.C. on Thursday.

Colombia's ambassador at the OAS, Luis Alfonso Hoyos asked the Venezuelan government to stop hiding the wanted rebels. He also warned that there will be a third international party meant to corroborate the locations identified by former rebels.

"We are hoping that Venezuela will cooperate and that they will comply with international and national rules. The presence of such illicit groups should not be allowed in any state," said Hoyos.

During the meeting, Colombian diplomats planned to present overwhelming evidence -- including photos, coordinates, video and testimonials -- showing that there are rebels operating from Venezuela.

"At this time, there are several camps that are being strengthened in Venezuela, where they are launching attacks against Venezuelan territory, as well as Colombian territory, and in turn hurting the Venezuelan people," said Hoyos.

Venezuela's ambassador at the OAS, Roy Chaderton Matos, said that if there are any Colombian left-wing rebels in his country it is due to the inaction and inability of the Colombian government to solve their problems.

"We have said it a thousand times, we do not accept the presence of any irregulars, nor do we accept any violations by Colombian forces in our territory," said Matos.

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