Colombia Seizes Properties Belonging To Guerrilla Groups

By Dialogo
April 06, 2009

Six properties, some of which were used in drug trafficking and apparently belonged to the FARC and ELN guerrilla groups, were seized by army troops and intelligence officers in the eastern Colombian province of Arauca, officials said. The properties were confiscated as part of "Operation Llano Grande," which is being conducted by the DAS security agency and the armed forces. The property seizures were "a hard blow to the financial heart of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the ELN (National Liberation Army)," a government spokesman said. The six rural properties total approximately 485 hectares (about 1,200 acres) and are worth some 976 million pesos (nearly $403,000). Some of the land was used to grow coca - the raw material for cocaine - and housed labs for making the illegal drug. The properties apparently belonged to the FARC's 10th and 45th fronts, and to the ELN, officials said. In 2006 and 2007, DAS agents and army 18th Brigade troops eradicated coca crops and destroyed labs on the properties in Arauca, which is on the border with Venezuela.