Colombia Protests Venezuelan Military Crossing Border

BOGOTA (Reuters) —
President Juan Manuel Santos Calderon of Colombia. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Colombia sent a letter to the Venezuelan foreign ministry on Tuesday protesting the incursion of a military helicopter and troops from that nation over the border, the latest in a series of similar incidents that have drawn criticism from Colombia.

The incident occurred on Nov. 15 and 16 near the town of Tibu in Norte de Santander province, Colombia’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

“The events have already been protested by the foreign ministry and there has been a meeting arranged between the foreign ministers to analyze what happened and request that measures be taken to prevent a recurrence,” it said.

Forays by Venezuelan troops into Colombia have increased in recent years, heightening diplomatic tension between the government of Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Pres. Santos has accused Pres. Maduro of destroying democracy in Venezuela, while Pres. Maduro has said Colombia is part of an international conspiracy seeking to overthrow his government.

Colombia and Venezuela share a border of 2,219 km, over which contraband frequently pass, according to security sources.

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