Venezuela’s top military commander took to social media earlier this week to announce that his troops had shot down two Mexican airplanes loaded with drugs.
Vladimir Padrino Lopez praised his troops and warned drug traffickers that they would get a similar fate if they invaded Venezuela’s airspace, the commander’s Twitter account shows.
The various photographs published by Padrino show the remains of two planes with the tail numbers starting in XA and XB which have been classified as the designation numbers for planes out of Mexico.
Padrino’s claims quickly drew the ire of the Mexican government, with the Foreign Relations Office issuing a diplomatic communique demanding an explanation.
Mexican drug cartels have a long history of using airplanes to fly drugs from Colombia or other drug trafficking nations into Mexico and eventually into the U.S.; Venezuela’s harsh stance against drug lords has raised tensions between the two countries.
Follow Ildefonso Ortiz on Twitter @ildefonsoortiz.