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Venezuelan authorities arrest man with suspected terror ties

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Joaquin Perez Becerra is accused of conspiracy to commit crimes and financing terrorism
  • Authorities arrest him after he arrives on a flight from Frankfurt, Germany
  • He is a suspected member of the FARC leftist guerrilla group, Caracol TV says
  • The arrest comes amid improving relations between Colombia and Venezuela
RELATED TOPICS
  • FARC

(CNN) -- Venezuelan authorities have arrested a Colombian citizen suspected of involvement in terrorism, state media reported.

Joaquin Perez Becerra was detained at a Venezuelan airport Saturday after Colombian officials issued an alert through Interpol, the state-run AVN news agency said, citing a statement from Venezuela's interior ministry.

The Interpol alert accuses Perez of conspiracy to commit crimes and financing terrorism, the news agency reported.

Perez arrived in Venezuela on Saturday on a flight from Frankfurt, Germany, AVN said.

CNN affiliate Caracol TV reported that he is a suspected member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, a leftist guerrilla group commonly known as FARC.

The arrest comes amid improving relations between the neighboring South American countries.

Tensions had flared between the two nations after Colombia accused Venezuela of harboring FARC members.

But shortly after his inauguration last year, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos met with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and pledged to wipe the slate clean.

After the August meeting, Chavez said Venezuela and Colombia would open lines of communication.

"Let's not allow that tomorrow rumors, reports, coordinates and I don't know what else make us fight again, because everything would fall down," he said.

FARC guerrillas have been waging war against the Colombian government for decades.

FARC is said to traffic in cocaine to finance its insurgency.

Security analysts say the group operates mostly in Colombia but has carried out extortion, kidnappings and other activities in Venezuela, Panama and Ecuador.

 
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