During the operation, 14 members of the Colombian paramilitary group were captured, as well as 22,200 liters of oil found in a clandestine tank.
Venezuelan authorities reported Monday the capture of 14 members of the narco-paramilitary group 'Los Rastrojos', in the city of Boca de Grita, in the state of Tachira, bordering Colombia.
Socialist leader and protector of the Venezuelan state of Tachira Freddy Bernal announced the result of the operation on his Twitter account, saying that during the operation 22,200 liters of oil were captured from a clandestine container belonging to the Colombian criminal group.
"We will not rest until we clear the border of paramilitary cells that serve as the armed arm of right-wing political actors to sow violence in the territory," the Venezuelan official said
Hemos dado 3 importantes golpes a la estructura del grupo terrorista Los Rastrojos en sector Boca de Grita: detención de 14 de sus integrantes, desmantelamiento de depósitos de combustible y destrucción de su aparato logístico. ¡Seguimos conquistando la Paz de la frontera! 1/5 pic.twitter.com/yQXVqbzhH4— Freddy Bernal (@FreddyBernal) February 17, 2020
We have dealt three major blows to the structure of the terrorist group Los Rastrojos in the Boca de Grita sector: the arrest of 14 of its members, and the dismantling of fuel tanks and destruction of its logistical apparatus. We continue to conquer the peace of the border!
The capture coincided with the military exercise 'Bolivarian Shield 2020' ordered by the Venezuelan president to improve the Venezuelan armed forces' defensive capacity.
The narco-paramilitary group 'Los Rastrojos' became widely known after controversial photos surfaced of its members with Venezuelan opposition congressman Juan Guaido in 2019 before the 'Venezuela Aid Live' concert held in the Colombian city of Cucuta.
The group is accused in Colombia of being a paramilitary organization dedicated to drug trafficking and illegal mining. They are also responsible for hundreds of murders on both sides of the Venezuelan-Colombian border.
The Venezuelan armed forces have deployed an extensive operation in the mentioned border, pursuing every trace of the criminal organization. At the end of 2019, four leaders of the narco-paramilitary group that participated in the operation to moved Guaido to Colombia were arrested.