CARACAS – Venezuela extended the state of emergency in the Atures municipality of the southern state of Amazonas bordering Colombia, after extending it in 23 other municipalities, covering almost the entire border, earlier.
The decision was taken Monday due to the “systematic, unprecedented and progressive appearance of a complex threat (...) through the presence of criminal and violent circumstances linked to phenomena such as paramilitary, drug trafficking and smuggling,” read the presidential order published in the official newspaper.
A similar measure, along with the closure of the border with Colombia, was issued by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in 10 municipalities of the southwestern Tachira state, 10 in the northwestern Zulia and three in the southwestern Apure.
The order, which does not specify whether the border will be closed, has been issued in only one of the seven municipalities of the state for 60 days and can be extended for another 60 days.
The state of emergency, declared in Tachira two months ago, was extended to another 60 days by the government.
The emergency will suspend a series of guarantees in the Venezuelan Constitution and empowers Venezuelan authorities to carry out searches to investigate “serious administrative offenses” against “people, their life, integrity, freedom and heritage,” as well as crimes related to the security of the nation, the socioeconomic order, the identity and the migratory order.
The order also restricts the movement of goods and allows authorities to check luggage and vehicles.
The order, however, will need to be approved by the country’s single-chamber parliament and the Supreme Court to be implemented.