Peruvian and Colombian defense ministers begin meetings in Lima

Defense Minister Rafael Rey and his Colombian counterpart, Gabriel Silva, began meetings in Lima on Tuesday to exchange information and strengthen ties between the two Andean country regarding drug trafficking and border security.

Rey said the meetings will evaluate and expand mechanisms to improve cooperation to combat drug trafficking and border security along the Putumayo River, a tributary of the Amazon River which follows most of the Peru’s border with Colombia, state news agency Andina reported.

Colombian Defense Minister Silva said they would also look at how to provide real time information between Peruvian and Colombian police in order to alert authorities about drug traffickers in the porous border region.

“The range of cooperation between the two countries is impeccable,” said Silva. “Every day it is closer and this meeting we are going to look at more areas to work and exchange relevant information with our teams about how to be more efficient and forceful in the fight against crimes.”

The ministers are also expected to discuss the alleged relation between remnants of Peru’s Shining Path insurgency and Colombia’s largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

An article published by Colombian newspaper El Tiempo earlier this month alleged a deceased senior FARC commander was providing training to the Shining Path.

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