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  • Members of the Venezuelan National Guard protect the border with Colombia.

    Members of the Venezuelan National Guard protect the border with Colombia. | Photo: EFE

Published 24 August 2015

Tensions between Venezuela and Colombia have escalated in recent days following increased paramilitary violence and contraband smuggling. 

Foreign Ministers from the Union of the South American Nations are scheduled to meet next week to address current border issues between Colombia and Venezuela, the Colombian Foreign Minister announced Friday.

Colombia’s Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin said the meeting will take place on Sept. 3 in Quito, Ecuador, as 3,000 Venezuelan soldiers are deployed to the border of Colombia to protect the country from paramilitaries.

The Colombian diplomat added that while there were no deportations in the border area of San Antonio del Tachira, 11 people had been deported in Paraguachón.

Venezuelan President Maduro, however, argued the 11 Colombians in question were in an irregular legal situation and “repatriated” rather than deported.

"They returned voluntarily once the protocols of respect, humanism and abiding human rights were met," Maduro said at a peace rally staged in Caracas Friday.

Nicolas Maduro added that he will propose Unasur create “a South American Truth Commission to come here and see the situation of the Venezuelan-Colombian border and the situation of the paramilitaries.”

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