The Colombian Attorney General’s office has launched an investigation into the actions of the Venezuelan National Guard after interviewing women who were deported from the country last week.
Ilva Myriam Hoyos, who heads the body’s department on crimes against Children, Teenagers and Families, told El Tiempo:
The statements that we have received from the people who are in shelters [in Cucuta] point to Venezuelan guards abusing women who were crossing the border.
Hoyos was careful not to reveal too much information about the allegations because the complaints had not yet been formally filed, but she did say that they had received more than one complaint.
Hoyos also explained that there have also been complaints of sexual abuse inside the shelters in Cucuta and the surrounding area, and explained that security measures are being put in place to help ensure the safety of the deportees.
Over the past 10 days, 1,097 Colombian citizens were deported from Venezuela, and another 7,162 left the country willingly.
U.S. Gov’t Calls for Peaceful Resolution to Border Issue
The United States Department of State issued a press statement yesterday in which it expressed its “continuing concern” over the Venezuela-Colombia border issue, and called on both parties to “resolve the issue diplomatically”. The same statement also stated the U.S. government’s willingness to help facilitate a resolution to the crisis if either party required the assistance. The release also expressed concern over the “worsening humanitarian situation” along the border, and called on the Colombian government to continue its commitment to aid the deportees.
Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Delcy Rodriguez rejected the press statement, calling it “meddlesome”, and said that Venezuela is internationally recognized as having an immigration policy that is “profoundly respectful of human rights”. Rodriguez also reiterated the Venezuelan Government’s belief that at the core of the issue is Colombia’s desire to ‘promote the destabilization of the Venezuelan economy”.
Vielma Mora: Peace Along Border Up To Colombia
Tachira state governor Jose Vielma Mora said today that the return of peace along the Venezuela-Colombia border was “in Colombia’s hands”, and that Colombia should take concrete steps to eliminate activities that are harmful to the Venezuelan economy. Namely, Vielma Mora said that Colombia should create laws to crack down on currency exchange operations in the country where the unofficial value of the Bolivar is calculated. The discrepancy between the official and the unofficial values of the Bolivar is significant because while the former is Bs. 6.30, the latter is currently Bs. 696.12.
Vielma Mora also said:
On the Colombian side, there isn’t a military or police presence. This makes it difficult to act against paramilitary gangs and extortion, contraband, animal theft, and it makes the population super vulnerable.
Socialist International Speaks On Media Persecution, Colombia
The Socialist International held a meeting last week in Cartagena, Colombia, and approved a unanimous resolution condemned the Venezuelan government’s persecution of media in the country and its recent abuses against Colombian citizens.
The resolution also states the organization’s willingness to form part of an international observer team for the upcoming December 6 parliamentary elections in order to help “guarantee the transparency and legitimacy of the process”.
Mob Loots Food Pallet in Miranda
A video uploaded to the DolarToday YouTube channel yesterday claims to show a mob of people looting food pallets in the Urdaneta municipality of Miranda state. According to DolarToday, the pallets contained mostly chicken, and were destined for sale.
Finally, a video of Maduro and First Lady Cilia Flores dancing at a PSUV event outside the Miraflores Palace on Friday:
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