The Bolivarian National Armed Force, through its highest administrative body, the People’s Power Ministry for Defense, issued a communiqué in rejection for the attack perpetrated this Sunday in the border state of Amazonas -Southern region of the country- by a paramilitary group, in which 3 members of the Bolivarian National Guard were killed, and a dozen officials were wounded.

The General in Chief of the National Armed Force, Vladimir Padrino Lopez, spoke about the incident in his twitter account @vladimirpadrino, and called for justice for the fallen soldiers.

“We will fight and defend our sovereignty everywhere, within the framework of the Law and under the constitutional precepts. Honor and glory to our soldiers who passed when fulfilling their national duty,” he said in this social media.

Official communiqué of the Bolivarian National Armed Force

Yesterday, November 4th, 2018, at approximately 06:00 hours, in the neighborhood “El Escondido Tres“, Fernando Giron Tovar parish, Atures municipality, Amazonas state, within the framework of the sentinel operation; Military personnel assigned to the zone command of the Bolivarian National Guard No. 63, arrested nine (09) people and were able to seize one (01) fragmentary grenade and five (05) firearms.

Luis Felipe Ortega Bernal, a.k.a. Salcedo, a Colombian national; leader of a criminal gang that operates in the department of Vichada (Colombia) and who ventured into the Venezuelan territory, is the most prominent subject among the detainees.

Afterwards, the military unit continued the search when was ambushed in “Picatonal”, an indigenous community, by an undetermined paramilitary group. In the action the following officials lost their lives fulfilling the sacred oath of defending the Homeland: First Sergeant, Alfredo Antonio Zolano Guevara, Venezuelan I.D. 24.141.515; First Sergeant, Robert Jose Artahona Diaz, Venezuelan I.D. 25.008.327; and Second Sergeant, Jose Jean Pierre Martinez Bolívar, Venezuelan I.D. 24.631.032; all of them due to injuries caused by firearms.

We express our most heartfelt words of condolence and solidarity to the relatives and friends of our fallen brothers in the field of honor, as well as the unconditional support of their comrades in arms in this difficult moment.

In the same incident, another ten military personnel were injured, including Lieutenant Colonel William Antonio Bastidas Mejias, Venezuelan I.D. 12.895.208, Commander of Unit No. 631; and Captain Jose Alexander Garcia, Venezuelan I.D. 16.553.782, who are receiving the necessary medical attention.

We categorically reject the violence coming from Colombia, whose governments have failed to restrain it and has negatively affected peace and progress in the border region for more than 60 years. We have received precise orders from Nicolas Maduro Moros, the Constitutional President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, to continue fighting cross-border crimes and any armed group acting in our territory outside the law.

This unfortunate event happens precisely due to the effort made every day by the permanent sentinels of the country, our national guards, as well as all the members of the military institution, to preserve the integrity of our geographical space and guarantee the development of the nation. Rest absolutely assured that they will not yield our morale and that we will deploy all the combat power available to locate those responsible for these cowardly murders so that justice is served.

We reaffirm our unswerving commitment to restlessly fighting any form of crime or criminal activity, in order to build a new frontier of peace, assuring the sovereignty and independence, stability, security and the future of the Venezuelan people.

Vladimir Padrino Lopez

General in Chief of the Bolivarian National Armed Force


People’s Power Ministry for Foreign Relations of Venezuela