"They are neither guerrillas, nor pseudo-guerrillas, nor paramilitaries; they are the TANCOL, terrorists, armed, drug traffickers from Colombia" who have infiltrated Venezuelan territory, President Nicolas Maduro said last September.
President Maduro Denounces Attacks on Energy Plants & Refinery
"In sovereign operations of reconnaissance and patrolling in José Antonio Páez municipality of Apure state, URRA [Rapid Reaction Units] Miranda of the FANB achieved the location and dismantling of a Tancol deposit inside a gallery forest, with 10 000 liters of acetone and 50 kilograms of explosive material," Strategic Operational Command (CEOFANB) chief Domingo Hernandez Larez said via Twitter.
Hernandez Larez added that the FANB would destroy all the infrastructures used by the Tancol for drug trafficking. "We will make dust of all the drug trafficking structures on Venezuelan soil with which they have caused so much damage to our people and with their debris, we will repair the roads full of craters due to the explosives," he said.
In late 2021, the FANB launched an operation in Apure in which camps full of explosives were destroyed and weapons along with ammunition from Colombian drug traffickers were seized. According to CEOFANB, such operation against armed groups was extended to other border states such as Zulia (west) and Amazonas (south), where camps and clandestine tracks used for drug trafficking were also dismantled.
The FANB, through the URRA Miranda, managed to seize approx. 10,010 liters of acetone and fifty (50) kg of explosive material were found in a TANCOL structure during patrol and scrutiny work in José Antonio Páez municipality, Apure.
Maduro also said these are groups of up to a hundred, trained and financed in Colombia, to traffic cocaine and promote attacks against military, police, and political targets. The president called on all the country's intelligence agencies to "declare war and capture them."