Consul: Dozens of Colombians detained in Caracas
Aug 18--Colombia's consul in Caracas said Sunday that Venezuelan authorities briefly detained a few dozen Colombians as they waited to get identification cards that are regularly distributed by the consulate.
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The incident comes amid heightened tensions between Colombia and Venezuela over Colombian President Alvaro Uribe's decision to seek closer ties with the United States.
Officials from the Venezuela's Justice Ministry, which oversees the city's police forces, could not be reached for comment about the detentions. Calls to the ministry's press attache went unanswered.
Consul Maria Elvira Cabello told the Globovision television channel that between 20 and 30 Colombians, including an official from Colombia's diplomatic mission, were held at a police station for several hours before being released. Police also took computers belonging to the consulate and passports from some of those detained, she said.
Cabello said police told her the consulate should have requested permission to distribute the ID cards, but she said the mission had notified authorities. Similar initiatives have been organized in the past without incident, she said.
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