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Venezuela Detains Alleged Colombian Guerrilla Leader

On Saturday, November 23 Venezuelan authorities detained Joaquín Pérez Becerra, the alleged leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) who is wanted by Interpol. Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos thanked the Venezuelan government for Perez’s capture and said that the cooperation of neighboring countries in the fight for peace and security is “very important.”

Pérez Becerra was detained when he was trying to enter Venezuela on a commercial flight from Frankfurt, Germany. Colombian authorities had issued a red alert through Interpol for the criminal offenses of conspiracy to commit a crime, financing of terrorism and administration of terrorist-related activities.

The Venezuelan government issued a statement in which it ratified the fight against terrorism and organized crime.

Pérez Becerra’s detention took place almost two weeks after the Venezuelan government had expelled Carlos Tirado and Carlos Pérez, alleged guerrilla members of the National Liberation Army (ELN). Tirado and Becerra were detained last March 17 in a village in Apure state, Venezuela’s southwest, next to the border with Colombia.

During the last months, Venezuela has deported several guerrilla members, including Nilson Terán Ferreira, alias “Tulio,” considered one of the heads of the ELN, who was turned over to Colombia on January 14.

YVKE Mundial / Press Office – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / April 25, 2011

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