Colombians arrested over plot to assasinate Maduro
CARACAS - Agence France-Presse
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has accused Colombia of waging a ‘dirty campaign’ against his newly formed administration. AFP photoVenezuelan authorities said June 10 they had arrested nine Colombian paramilitary fighters they accused of plotting to assassinate President Nicolas Maduro amid an ongoing diplomatic spat with Bogota.
Maduro accused Colombia of waging a “dirty campaign” against his newly formed administration.
The two neighboring countries have been at odds since Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos hosted Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles at the presidential palace last month, infuriating the leftist government in Caracas.
Venezuelan Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez said the arrested fighters belonged to two separate groups.
Orchestrated from Bogota
“We strongly presume this is part of a plan orchestrated from there (Bogota) to endanger the life of our president and destabilize the government,” Rodriguez told state television.
“We suspect these gentlemen have links to right-wing elements” in Venezuela, he added.
In western Tachira state, Venezuelan authorities captured six members of the drug cartel Los Rastrojos, armed with Russian AK-47 rifles, two pistols, a revolver, a 12-gauge shotgun, two grenades, cartridges of different caliber, cash and a motorcycle, according to the minister.
The second group was arrested in central Portuguesa state, carrying weapons, ammunition cartridges and Venezuelan military uniforms.
Both groups were planning to travel to Caracas for their mission, Rodriguez said.