Colombia, Venezuela to Prepare Joint Anti-Narcotics Treaty

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Colombia’s Defense Minister, Rodrigo Rivera, announced that he would meet on November 19th with the Venezuelan Minister of the Interior, Tarek El Aissami, to prepare a joint treaty on drug trafficking, reports the Venezuelan daily El Universal.

Rivera stressed the importance of Venezuelan cooperation in issues of border security, and said that the treaty will also address the struggle against kidnapping and extortion.

To highlight the importance of a future agreement, Rivera gave an example of a recent kidnapping case in which Venezuelan authorities worked with their Colombian counterparts to locate and free a woman who was taken across the border from the city of Arauca.  

The announcement comes at a time when Venezuela’s role in international drug trafficking is increasing, as cited in a 2009 Congressional report which stated that “the lack of Venezuelan counternarcotics cooperation is a significant impediment to the US capacity to interdict drugs en route to the United States.”  Because of this, Colombian drug cartels increasingly transporting cocaine across the border in order to export it through Central America.

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