(Photo: Vanguardia)

Colombia closed its landborders neighbors on Saturday while the country’s Defense Minister warned of the incursions of Venezuelan “criminals” who want to disturb the country’s ongoing congressional process, local media reported

Since 4AM Saturday, Colombian’s land and river crossing with Venezuela and Ecuador have been temporarily closed due to the weekend’s congressional elections in the country.

At the same time, Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon, warned that thee presence of Venezuelan criminals –who cross the border, specifically into the city of Cucuta — are generating insecurity among the population, CM& news reported.

Speaking from the eastern city of Cucuta, Pinzon stated that the Ministry had been informed that “criminals, who are coming across the border are causing some uncertainty,” and announced that an additional 150 policemen had been deployed in the city as a security measure.

The temporary border restrictions, which in place until 4 PM on Sunday March 9, has closed the three Venezuelan land borders including Simon Bolivar and Francisco de Paula Santander bridges, which connect the eastern Cucuta with the Venezuelan populations San Antonio and Ureña, El Tiempo Newspaper reported.

According to RCN Radio, both Colombian and Venezuelan citizens continue to cross between the two countries via the Tachira River, which forms part of the shared border.

The temporary law was enacted as part of Decree 415, which also includes a number of rules and guidelines to be adhered to on election weekend for media outlets, political gatherings and campaign rallies, public transport services.

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Colombian shares borders with Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Panama.


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