Fw: Here we go -- again

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at tao.ca
Thu Jul 25 18:21:32 MDT 2002

El Tiempo (Bogota)     June 27, 2002

Announcing The Creation of a United Self-Defence Forces of Venezuela

The AUV are operating in the provinces of Tachira, Apure and Zulia. The
government of Hugo Chavez has not yet acknowledged their presence.

An illegal group which calls itself The United Self-Defence Forces of
Venezuela (AUV in Spanish) made their appearance yesterday and announced
that they are declaring Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez a military target.

In a video distributed to various media agencies, the commander "Antonio,"
chief of the Fidel Castano Front of the AUV, stated that the organization
numbers 2,200 trained men ready to combat Colombian guerrilla forces that
have penetrated Venezuelan territory.

He also stated that another purpose of these men, of which the majority are
active and retired members of the Venezuelan military, is to change the
political panorama where today reigns "the government of the narcoguerrilla
Hugo Chavez."

The Venezuelan Self Defence Forces also declared as a military target the
ex-minister of Justice and the Interior of the Chavez government, Ramon
Rodriguez Chacon, and the commander of the X Front of the FARC, Ruben
Zamora, who they are sure is in hiding in Venezuela.

The commander "Antonio" affirmed that he awaits a prompt reunion with
Colombian paramilitary commander Carlos Castano, since for the AUV "the
great majority of the Colombian narcoguerrillas have their encampments in
our country, and with the union of the two organizations we will finish them
off entirely."

This fully armed group already has full installations in the frontier
provinces of TE1chira, Apure and Zulia.

In their communication they begged forgiveness of the Venezuelans for the
spilling of blood that will inevitably occur in the coming days as they
announced that they are taking their fight to the cities.

The Venezuelan government has not commented officially on this subject.
However, the subject was discussed in a meeting last night between Hugo
Chavez and vice president JosE9 Vicente Rangel, although no details of the
discussion have been released. The minister of defence also denied comment.
Weeks earlier, a deputy from the Venezuelan border told EL TIEMPO that he
feared that there was a paramilitary presence in the region, precisely due
to the continued entrance of Colombian guerrillas.

The same deputy said that some ranchers were meeting with representatives of
the paramilitaries but did not explain which subjects were discussed or if
some sort of agreement had been reached.
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