Venezuela feels the weight of the Colombian armed conflict
Venezuela has been witness and victim of the Colombian's real change
This explains, in the last decades, the gangsters and rebels presence in Venezuela who have been deported from Caracas (15 gangsters in 2011 according to data of the Venezuelan Ministry of Interior).
In addition to the many facets of the armed Colombian conflict, there are more than 12,250 refugees in Venezuela. From these, 98.2% are Colombians, as it is explained by Idelfonso Finol, president of the National Refugees Commission.
About 3,000 Colombians sought shelter in Venezuela in 2011. Data similar to that recorded in 2010. Many of them fled due to armed groups or to the violence in their country, as it is underlined by a report from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The Colombian historical conflict means a heavy cost for Venezuela: from the Cararabo massacre, in Apure state (south Venezuela) in 1995, where guerrillas from the National Liberation Army (ELN) killed eight Venezuelan marines, to the thousand denounces of kidnapping and the collection of protection money in Táchira, Apure and Barinas states by rebels and alleged paramilitaries.
Colombia and Venezuela share 2,219 km of frontier, which made them, two very related nations. Therefore, a pacification process in Colombia will doubtless be beneficial.
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."