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NGO Discloses Location of ‘Safe Houses’ for Leaders of Irregular Colombian Groups in Venezuela

NGO Discloses Location of ‘Safe Houses’ for Leaders of Irregular Colombian Groups in Venezuela

By Carolina Alcalde/VOA
June 08, 2021

Javier Tarazona, director of FundaRedes, a nongovernmental organization that has reported the presence of irregular Colombian groups in Venezuelan territory, revealed the location of so-called “safe houses” allegedly used by leaders of irregular Colombian groups in Venezuela.

“Leaders of the ELN [National Liberation Army, in Spanish] and the FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, in Spanish] live among us, guarded by the upper echelons of power in Venezuela, not only in words, but also in actions,” Tarazona told the press on June 1, 2021.

 

Leaders of the ELN [National Liberation Army, in Spanish] and the FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, in Spanish] live among us, guarded by the upper echelons of power in Venezuela, not only in words, but also in actions,” Javier Tarazona, director of FundaRedes.

 

According to Tarazona, a human rights advocate, ELN guerrillas Nicolás Rodríguez Bautista, alias Gavino; Eliécer Chamorro, alias Antonio García; and Gustavo Giraldo, alias Pablito, “are in safe houses in Venezuela.”

“Just as [former FARC leader Jesús] Santrich was also in these safe houses, today they house FARC commanders Iván Márquez, Villa, Salo, and Richard, of that Second Marquetalia that announced it was taking up arms again in 2019. The new houses that FundaRedes reported, [and] this is not the first time we do so, are in Táchira, Barinas, Guárico, and Miranda,” Tarazona said. “You pass Los Arvelos Square in Barinitas; one block up to the right, you will find the entrance to the house where Iván Márquez and ELN leaders are protected and guarded by members of the Venezuelan Armed Forces,” he added.

“They are also in Miranda, near Miraflores, near the houses of many people who hold power now, high officials of the regime, in the Villa de Monteclaro residential development, specifically in plot number 87, where there are three checkpoints that control access to this area. There, you will find a house known to them as El Frío, a safe house, a shelter for the guerrillas during the operations they carry out in the capital of the republic,” Tarazona said.

The Office of the Attorney General took note of the location of at least five safe houses, Tarazona said. He also questioned the way in which the Nicolás Maduro dictatorship has handled the armed conflict in Apure.

“The military leadership’s perversity, [and] the silence, make the anguish and pain of these families much greater. Our solidarity [is] with the families, with the fallen military, because what remains of all this? A guerrilla that ended up winning, that murdered our service members, that caused the displacement of more than 7,000 people to Colombia,” he said.

Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said in a statement that eight Venezuelan soldiers who were in the hands of “irregular Colombian armed groups” had been “rescued safe and sound.” He also reported that authorities continue to search for two other missing officers.

Padrino reiterated that, in accordance with Maduro’s instructions, they will continue to fight criminal organizations that, he said, intend to carry out “transnational crimes” in Venezuelan territory.

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