Three members of Venezuela’s Bolivarian national guard (GNB) were killed by members of an illegal armed group on 4 November in the southern state of Amazonas bordering Colombia. Venezuela’s defence minister General- in-Chief Vladimir Padrino reacted by accusing the Colombian government of using paramilitaries to provoke “a border incident”. The GNB, however, appears to have come under attack from the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN), the guerrilla group which the Colombian government has long claimed enjoys unmolested sanctuary in Venezuela. The clash drew attention to a complex skein linking government, gold, and guerrillas.

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