Colombia to strengthen border river patrol with Brazil, Venezuela

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-7-22 10:20:48

Colombia on Sunday announced the creation of a naval force unit to step up military presence along the navigable border rivers with Brazil and Venezuela.

President Juan Manuel Santos on Monday will activate the unit -- the Naval Force of the East, the Colombian Navy said in a statement.

It added that this is the fourth naval force unit in the country, after the Caribbean Naval Force, the Pacific Force and the Naval Force of the South.

After activating the naval force unit, Santos will meet his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro in Puerto Ayacucho in Venezuela's Amazon region, the Navy said.

"The new unit will be in charge of the navigable rivers of Orinoco, Arauca, Meta, Vichada, Tomo, Vita, part of Guaviare, Inirida and small tributaries such as Manacacias and Metica," said the Navy.

Under the command of rear admiral Hector Alfonso Medina, the Naval Force of the East will comprise 12 afloat units, 12 heavy elements and seven light elements of fluvial combat, as well as five fluvial advanced positions and seven mobile stations of fluvial support, it said.

Some 1,800 men and women of the new naval unit will fight all types of delinquency and actions that affect the stability of eastern Colombia where around 2 million people live in 60 municipalities along the navigable rivers.

Colombia shares a 1,302-km-long border with Venezuela and Brazil.

Posted in: Americas

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