The Minister of Defense of Colombia, Diego Molano, announced the seizure of six tons of cocaine the ELN guerrillas in a laboratory complex located in the jungles of the south-west of the country.
“I want to announce to the country the most important blow to the ELN drug trafficking this year, with the seizure of six tons of cocaine hydrochloride,” he said in a video to the media.
Operation Jared, in which three “large laboratories” were destroyed by the armed forces and the prosecution, was carried out in the municipality of Samaniego, department of Nariño, near the border with Ecuador.
“The cocaine, machinery and other items found would exceed US $ 9 million in value. The drug was ready to be packed and transported to the Colombian Pacific coast, to be shipped to Mexico and the United States, ”added the attorney general, Francisco Barbosa.
In images you can see the structure where the alkaloid was processed in the jungle.
Molano announced this week that he would redouble efforts against “terrorism” by armed groups after the attack on President Iván Duque’s helicopter that took place on Friday in Cúcuta, near the border with Venezuela.
The government blames the ELN for the attack, as well as for the explosion of a car bomb in a military unit in the same city that occurred ten days earlier.
The last guerrilla recognized after the pact that ended a half-century conflict with the FARC, the National Liberation Army (ELN) denies being involved in the attack on the military base.
The southwest of Colombia suffers a resurgence of violence after the peace agreement signed in 2016 with the Marxist insurgency.
In August 2020, eight young people were killed on a farm in Samaniego during a party while the country was confined by the ravages of the coronavirus. Since then, the massacres, or murders of at least three people in the same event have been counted by dozens.
The government blames the violence on groups that are financed by drug trafficking, consolidated on the borders with Venezuela, Panama and Ecuador.
In 2020, the UN estimated 144,000 hectares of coca planted in the country. Although the acreage was reduced by 7% compared to 2019, cocaine production continues to increase, lamented Pierre Lapaque, representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (Unodc).
After decades of the fight against drugs, Colombia is the world’s largest supplier of cocaine and the United States the main consumer.