Page last updated at 22:56 GMT, Thursday, 19 November 2009

Colombia accuses Venezuela of blowing up border bridges

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaks under a banner reading "Against the Yankee Bases" in Caracas, 13 November 2009
Tensions have recently flared over a Colombian military deal with the US

Colombia has accused neighbouring Venezuela of blowing up two pedestrian bridges on its shared border.

Colombian Defence Minister Gabriel Silva said eyewitnesses had seen men who appeared to be from the Venezuelan army blow up the bridges with dynamite.

He described the incident, on the border of Colombia's Norte de Santander region, as violating international law.

A Venezuelan official was quoted as saying that the army had blown up an illegal, improvised bridge.

It was the latest in a series of incidents to cause tension between the two neighbours.


"Uniformed men, apparently from the Venezuelan army, arrived in trucks on the Venezuelan side at two pedestrian bridges that link communities on both sides... and then proceeded to dynamite them," Mr Silva said.

But Alexis Balza, frontier director for Tachira State governor's office, was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying an illegal bridge had been removed.

"The Venezuelan army took down a sort of walkway, put up by the people who pass from Venezuela to Colombia," he said.

Tensions have recently focussed on Colombia's decision to allow the US full access to its military bases.

Venezuela has accused the United States of planning attacks on its territory through the new military agreement - though Bogota says the pact is aimed at fighting drug-traffickers and Marxist rebels within Colombia's own borders.

Earlier this month, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez urged his armed forces to be prepared for possible war.

Print Sponsor

Colombia frees Venezuelan guards
15 Nov 09 |  Americas
Chavez steps up Colombia war talk
09 Nov 09 |  Americas
Caracas joins border slayings row
01 Nov 09 |  Americas
Venezuela seizes 'Colombia spies'
27 Oct 09 |  Americas
Chavez turns up heat on Colombia
06 Aug 09 |  Americas
Colombia's rocky regional relations
30 Jul 09 |  Americas

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific