Colombian Army Making Strides in Counter-narcotics Fight

By Dialogo
March 10, 2015



Colombian National Army Soldiers have destroyed 115 cocaine-producing laboratories in the Department of Norte de Santander since January 1, the Army reported on its website on March 6.

Nine of those labs, found by Troops with the Second Division’s Vulcano Task Force, belonged to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and National Liberation Army (ELN). Soldiers collectively seized 1,831 kilograms of chopped coca leaves – the main ingredient used to produce cocaine – 50 kilograms of cement, 1,819 gallons of liquid cocaine and and 190 kilograms of urea from those labs.

In one operation, the Vulcano Task Force dismantled a large coca plant nursery run by the ELN’s Capitán Francisco Bossio
Front. The nursery contained 15,000 coca plants, which could have generated about 45 million pesos (approximately $17,315) for the ELN, which would have used that money to purchase weapons and explosives to attack Troops, civilians, and key infrastructure targets, according to the Army press statement.

The FARC and the ELN, the country’s two largest guerrilla organizations, both use revenue they generate by trafficking drugs to finance their terrorist attacks.

The Army also dismantled a drug laboratory that was being operated by the Clan Úsuga, a major drug trafficking organization. Soldiers with the Infantry Battalion No. 15 destroyed an underground cocaine-producing laboratory belonging to the drug trafficking group, the Army reported on March 6.

During the operation, Troops destroyed 180,000 coca plant seedlings and seized 50 kilograms of fertilizer as well as other drug-producing supplies and equipment.

The Clan Úsuga, one of Colombia’s largest narco-trafficking organizations, sells cocaine to the Sinaloa Cartel and Los Zetas, two Mexican transnational criminal organizations which traffic drugs through Central America and into the United States and other countries.

Peruvian Security Forces seize 370 kilograms of cocaine


Peruvian security forces recently seized 370 kilograms of cocaine they found hidden in a cove in the Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers Valley (VRAEM) region, according to the National Police.

The cocaine was in 12 bags of polyethylene and was expected to be sent abroad on a plane departing from a clandestine airstrip. The VRAEM is the world's largest cocaine-producing region.

Security forces, who found the cocaine during a routine patrol, also seized a bag containing guns, bulletproof vests, and radios suspected of belonging to the drug’s owners.

The National Police didn’t reveal which specific security force conducted the seizure, but did say law enforcement officers were investigating to determine the origin of the cocaine and who owned it.

Peruvian law enforcement officers have made great strides in the fight against the drug trade in recent years.

In 2014, for example, Peruvian law enforcement officers destroyed a national yearly record of 30,349 hectares of coca crops, topping its goal of 30,000 hectares. That achievement prevented 233,000 kilograms of cocaine from reaching the streets, according to Interior Minister Daniel Urresti.


Colombian National Army Soldiers have destroyed 115 cocaine-producing laboratories in the Department of Norte de Santander since January 1, the Army reported on its website on March 6.

Nine of those labs, found by Troops with the Second Division’s Vulcano Task Force, belonged to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and National Liberation Army (ELN). Soldiers collectively seized 1,831 kilograms of chopped coca leaves – the main ingredient used to produce cocaine – 50 kilograms of cement, 1,819 gallons of liquid cocaine and and 190 kilograms of urea from those labs.

In one operation, the Vulcano Task Force dismantled a large coca plant nursery run by the ELN’s Capitán Francisco Bossio
Front. The nursery contained 15,000 coca plants, which could have generated about 45 million pesos (approximately $17,315) for the ELN, which would have used that money to purchase weapons and explosives to attack Troops, civilians, and key infrastructure targets, according to the Army press statement.

The FARC and the ELN, the country’s two largest guerrilla organizations, both use revenue they generate by trafficking drugs to finance their terrorist attacks.

The Army also dismantled a drug laboratory that was being operated by the Clan Úsuga, a major drug trafficking organization. Soldiers with the Infantry Battalion No. 15 destroyed an underground cocaine-producing laboratory belonging to the drug trafficking group, the Army reported on March 6.

During the operation, Troops destroyed 180,000 coca plant seedlings and seized 50 kilograms of fertilizer as well as other drug-producing supplies and equipment.

The Clan Úsuga, one of Colombia’s largest narco-trafficking organizations, sells cocaine to the Sinaloa Cartel and Los Zetas, two Mexican transnational criminal organizations which traffic drugs through Central America and into the United States and other countries.

Peruvian Security Forces seize 370 kilograms of cocaine


Peruvian security forces recently seized 370 kilograms of cocaine they found hidden in a cove in the Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers Valley (VRAEM) region, according to the National Police.

The cocaine was in 12 bags of polyethylene and was expected to be sent abroad on a plane departing from a clandestine airstrip. The VRAEM is the world's largest cocaine-producing region.

Security forces, who found the cocaine during a routine patrol, also seized a bag containing guns, bulletproof vests, and radios suspected of belonging to the drug’s owners.

The National Police didn’t reveal which specific security force conducted the seizure, but did say law enforcement officers were investigating to determine the origin of the cocaine and who owned it.

Peruvian law enforcement officers have made great strides in the fight against the drug trade in recent years.

In 2014, for example, Peruvian law enforcement officers destroyed a national yearly record of 30,349 hectares of coca crops, topping its goal of 30,000 hectares. That achievement prevented 233,000 kilograms of cocaine from reaching the streets, according to Interior Minister Daniel Urresti.
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