The Colombian Army seized 6,160 kilograms of cocaine from organized armed groups in three operations carried out in Norte de Santander department, January 14-31, 2022. The military forces also dismantled 11 laboratories where the drugs were processed.
On January 31, the Army reported seizing 728 kg of cocaine, 680 kg of coca base paste, and 2,385 liters of liquid chemical precursors in the municipality of Tibú, Norte de Santander department, in an operation with the support of the Colombian Air Force. In addition, service members destroyed six rustic structures for drug processing that belonged to the National Liberation Army (ELN, in Spanish). According to authorities, narcotraffickers processed more than 3.5 tons of cocaine per month at this location.
On January 19, the Army reported the seizure of 2,500 kg of cocaine and 700 kg of coca base paste. In addition, service members dismantled a mega laboratory that belonged to the ELN, located in the municipality of Sardinata, Norte de Santander department.
This mega lab consisted of four facilities, with equipment and raw material to produce up to 3 tons of cocaine per week. The drug seized was ready to be marketed, the Colombian magazine Semana reported.
On January 14, the Army confirmed the seizure of 2,932 kg of cocaine and 530 kg of coca base paste and the destruction of four rustic drug processing laboratories that belonged to the narcotrafficking group Estructura 33, in the municipality of Tibú.
“With this decisive blow to the illegal finances and the narcotrafficking structures of this armed group, we have managed to compromise their economy by more than $4 million, money that they would have used to buy weapons illegally to attack the population and the public force,” Colombian Army Colonel Rubén Darío Restrepo, commander of the 1st Counternarcotics Battalion, said. “This operation has become the most important blow to narcotrafficking this year.”