Venezuela captures 2 wanted Colombian drug lords
Venezuelan authorities have captured two Colombian former paramilitary commanders wanted for murder, kidnapping and drug trafficking, officials said.
Nelson Buitrago Parada and his brother Hector were arrested by anti-drug agents and would be "immediately" handed over to Colombian authorities, Venezuelan Interior Minister Tarek El Aissami said Monday.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said the brothers were former commanders in the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), a right-wing paramilitary group accused of scores of atrocities and drug trafficking during a bloody campaign against leftist insurgents from 1997-2006.
Santos said the pair had refused to take part in an official amnesty process that took place alongside the demobilization of the group.
The Colombian defense ministry said Nelson was the leader of a successor group to the AUC and ran a drug gang reaching into Bolivia, Venezuela and Brazil.
Venezuela and Colombia had tense relations under Santos's predecessor, but he and Venezuela's leftwing President Hugo Chavez have moved to improve ties between the South American neighbors despite their ideological differences.