Colombia claims that the president’s assassination was planned by Venezuela.
The Colombian government alleged on Thursday that dissident FARC guerillas and a former Colombian army officer planned an attack on President Ivan Duque’s helicopter from Venezuela.
Defense Minister Diego Molano told reporters that three of the alleged culprits had been apprehended, saying, “It is apparent that this attack against the president… was plotted from Venezuela.”
On June 25, as Duque’s helicopter approached Cucuta airport on a flight from Sardinata, several bullets were fired at it, possibly from rifles.
Duque was accompanied by Molano, Interior Minister Daniel Palacios, and other officials on the flight.
Although no one was hurt on board, the helicopter’s tail and primary blade were damaged, according to photographs published by the president’s office.
Andres Fernando Medina, a retired Colombian army captain “who devised and implemented the plan,” is one of those being held in connection with the incident, according to Attorney General Francisco Barbosa.
Investigators said they discovered two AK47 assault rifles belonging to the Venezuelan army not far from the attack site.
A military base in the same location had been attacked ten days prior, injuring 44 people.
The 33rd Front of FARC Dissidents is behind these two acts, according to Barbosa.
Colombian authorities have also arrested seven persons for their claimed involvement in the military base attack, in addition to Medina and his alleged collaborators in the Duque shooting.
All of the arrests took place along Colombia’s border with Venezuela, where dissident guerillas who oppose the FARC’s 2016 peace pact with the government are fighting paramilitary organizations and the ELN, Colombia’s last active guerilla group, over disputed drug trafficking routes.
Duque has accused Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of hiding FARC dissidents and ELN fighters in his nation on many occasions.
“The Maduro administration continues to hide terrorists, from which assaults against Colombian institutions are planned,” Molano said on Thursday.
Since 2019, when Colombia joined other countries in rejecting Maduro’s disputed reelection, the two neighbors have had no diplomatic relations.
A 2,200-kilometer boundary separates them (1,370 miles).
Colombia, the world’s largest producer of cocaine, is facing its greatest revival of violence since the 2016 peace agreement.