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Major General Vladimir Padrino López reported that “the Bolivarian National Armed Force [FANB] has dealt heavy blows to the mafias and gangs that deal in drug and human trafficking, and which belong to the Colombian Armed Terrorist and Drug Trafficking Groups [TANCOL].”
The Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB, in Spanish) and the Venezuelan security agencies, on Saturday increased operations on several fronts to crack down on paramilitary groups and organized crime groups.
At a press conference, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López took stock of actions conducted across the border, mainly in the southwestern state of Apure, on the so-called TANCOL (armed Colombian drug-trafficking terrorists).
Mr. López said that as part of the Bolivarian Shield 2022 exercise aimed at neutralizing such paramilitary groups, nine irregulars have been discharged from Colombia since early 2022.
During the defensive maneuvers, the FANB troop spotted 16 makeshift camps operating as bases of operations for TANCOL groups.
Vehicles, explosives, three aircraft, communications equipment, and heavy machinery, as well as a large arsenal of war weapons, a total of 3,600 ammunition, 1.2 tons of cocaine, and 800 kg of marijuana, were seized, said Mr. Padrino López in a statement to the media.