Small Wars Journal

Armed Rebels Impose Brutal Rules in Venezuela-Colombia Border Region

Armed Rebels Impose Brutal Rules in Venezuela-Colombia Border Region by Joe Parkin Daniels – The Guardian

Guerrilla groups have supplanted state rule on both sides of the lawless border between Venezuela and Colombia, where they impose their own brutal rules on civilians, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW).

In Colombia’s eastern Arauca province and the neighbouring Apure state in Venezuela, civilians are unable to move freely, forced to obey a strict curfew and taxed on virtually all economic activity. HRW documented abuses including murder, kidnappings, disappearances, child recruitment and rape.

“Armed groups in Arauca and Apure also punish residents with forced labor, requiring them to work for free, sometimes for months, farming, cleaning roads, or cooking in the armed groups’ camps, which are often in Venezuela,” says the report, released on Wednesday.

The groups act with impunity thanks to limited state authorities on both sides of the porous border where they impose their own rules. Two of the groups have even handed out a manual for residents of the region…

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