Venezuela-Colombia border closed after merchant’s death
An incident involving street vendors from Colombia and Venezuela’s National Guard has caused authorities from both countries to close the main border crossing between the two countries.
Trouble reportedly started when Venezuelan authorities discovered a Colombian man on a hidden trail trying to smuggle goods across the notoriously porous border with Venezuela. The man, who has yet to be identified by authorities, was killed when Venezuelan authorities reportedly confronted him on Wednesday.
Venezuelan authorities said they caught the merchant as he was trying to smuggle goods out of Venezuela. Another man was injured in the incident, according to reports.
Merchants routinely cross the border to purchase price-regulated goods in Venezuela and then resell them in Colombia for a huge profit.
It is still not clear how the Colombian merchant died. But, as news of his death spread, a group of more than 100 Colombian vendors waged a protest on the Simon Bolivar bridge connecting the two countries.
Meanwhile, Colombian riot police have been called in to calm the situation in the northern province of Norte de Santander.