A helicopter carrying President Duque was shot near the border on Friday.
The Colombian government is offering a reward of nearly $ 800,000 for information leading to the capture of those behind an attack on a helicopter carrying President Ivan Duque near the border on Friday.
The helicopter was approaching Cucuta airport on a flight from Sardinata when several shots – apparently from guns – were fired at.
Duke had flown with Defense Minister Diego Molano, Interior Minister Daniel Palacios and other officials at the time.
No one on board was injured, but photos released by the president’s office show the tail and main blade were hit.
“A reward of up to 3 billion pesos in Colombia [$796,000] is being offered “for information leading to” those responsible for this terrorist attack, “Molano said Saturday in a video posted on social media.
General Jorge Vargas, the national police chief, said a search team sent to a nearby neighborhood of Cucuta found an AK-47 and a 7.62-caliber rifle “that bears the mark of the Venezuelan armed forces.”
We offer a reward of up to 3,000 million pesos for the information that will allow to locate those responsible for the attack on the president. @IvanDuque. We call the union of the Colombians with the # Public force to defeat terrorism together: @Diego_Molano pic.twitter.com/jU7C8p9RZQ
– Mindefensa (@mindefensa) June 26, 2021
Translation: “We offer a reward of up to 3,000 million pesos.” [$796,000] for information that allows to locate those responsible for the attack against President @IvanDuque. We call for the union of Colombians with the #Public Force to defeat terrorism together, “Molano said.
Duque has repeatedly accused Venezuela’s socialist leader Nicolas Maduro of taking refuge in Colombian dissidents and armed rebels.
Bogota and Caracas broke off diplomatic relations shortly after Duque, a conservative, came to power in 2018.
“Our state is strong”
Earlier Friday, Duque had participated in an event in the Catatumbo region, one of the main cocaine-growing areas in a country that is the world’s largest exporter of cocaine.
The resignations of the disbanded FARC rebel group, a group of active fighters called the National Liberation Army (ELN), and other armed gangs have been fighting for revenue from drug trafficking along the long and porous border with Venezuela.
“We are not afraid of violence or acts of terrorism,” Duque said after the attack on his chopper. “Our state is strong.”
Columbia has experienced some of its worst violence for years, especially in rural areas including the border area.