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Colombia protests Venezuelan military crossing border

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Colombia protests Venezuelan military crossing border

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BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia sent a letter to the Venezuelan foreign ministry on Tuesday protesting the incursion of a military helicopter and troops from that nation over the border, the latest in a series of similar incidents that have drawn criticism from Colombia. The incident occurred on Nov. 15 and 16 near the town of Tibu in Norte de Santander province, Colombia’s foreign ministry said in a statement. “The events have already been protested by the foreign ministry and there has been a meeting arranged between the foreign ministers to analyse what happened and request that measures be taken to prevent a recurrence,” it said. Forays by Venezuelan troops into Colombia have increased in recent years, heightening diplomatic tension between the government of Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Santos has accused Maduro of destroying democracy in Venezuela, while Maduro has said Colombia is part of an international conspiracy seeking to overthrow his government. Colombia and Venezuela share a border of 2,219 km (1,379 miles), over which contraband and illegal drugs frequently pass, according to security sources.

(Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Helen Murphy; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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