Colombian National Army cracks down on illegal mining in Cauca

Colombian National Army cracks down on illegal mining in Cauca

By Dialogo
October 23, 2014




The Colombian National Army has intensified its operations against outlaw armed groups that dig illegal mines – an activity that damages the environment.

Soldiers attached to the Third Brigade seized four backhoes suspected in illegal mining during the arrest of two alleged operatives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) September 26. The organization is responsible much of the illegal mining in the country, using it to fund its terrorist activities. During the arrests – which took place on the road between the municipalities of Santander de Quilichao and Caloto – soldiers also seized US$400,000 in cash. They suspect the FARC intended to use those funds to purchase weapons and explosives.

In 2014, security forces in Cauca have seized a total of 21 backhoes used for illegal mining activities, while police have arrested 15 suspects.

“Troops from the Third Brigade will continue military operations in order to keep delivering positive results in the region,” said Third Brigade Commander Col. Jorge Iván Monsalve Hernández. “We will keep up the fight against this criminal activity, which not only finances terrorist groups, but also greatly affects the environment and natural resources.”

Harm to the environment


Illegal mining produces a number of negative consequences, including soil and water contamination, land erosion, and the loss of fauna and flora, according to the study “Impact of Illegal Mining in Colombia,” published in May 2013 by the Development and Peace Research Institute (INDEPAZ).

Scientific studies like the INDEPAZ report have extensively documented the ways that illegal mining can harm the environment. It requires large amounts of water, for example, depleting reserves that farmers and villagers depend on while weakening the soil. The use of backhoes to alter the natural course of rivers can impact their oxygen levels, harming fish and threatening the livelihood of fishermen. Contaminants from mining operations that find their way into water supplies can also threaten public health.

Illegal mining also produces negative social impacts.

“A false perception of abundance was created because the population earned more money, but now the population has to buy what they could once produce, due to the loss of agriculture as a main activity,” INDEPAZ reports.

Decreased coca cultivation


Groups like the FARC have adopted illegal mining because they insist on funding themselves at society’s expense. And as Colombian security sources crack down on drug cultivation and trafficking, criminal organizations are running out of options.

For example, coca cultivation decreased from 4,325 to 3,325 hectares in the department of Cauca between 2012 and 2013, according to the study “Monitoring Coca Cultivation 2013” by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). That report notes evidence that unlawful groups are engaging in higher levels of illegal gold extraction.

Illegal mining can be more attractive unlawful armed groups than coca cultivation, according to the study “Illegal Armed Groups and the Mining Industry in Colombia,” published in 2012 by the Observatory of Spain’s International Cooperation Office in Colombia. One significant reason is the high price of gold on the international market. In addition, gold is a lawful product, so mining it can also be used to launder money.





The Colombian National Army has intensified its operations against outlaw armed groups that dig illegal mines – an activity that damages the environment.

Soldiers attached to the Third Brigade seized four backhoes suspected in illegal mining during the arrest of two alleged operatives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) September 26. The organization is responsible much of the illegal mining in the country, using it to fund its terrorist activities. During the arrests – which took place on the road between the municipalities of Santander de Quilichao and Caloto – soldiers also seized US$400,000 in cash. They suspect the FARC intended to use those funds to purchase weapons and explosives.

In 2014, security forces in Cauca have seized a total of 21 backhoes used for illegal mining activities, while police have arrested 15 suspects.

“Troops from the Third Brigade will continue military operations in order to keep delivering positive results in the region,” said Third Brigade Commander Col. Jorge Iván Monsalve Hernández. “We will keep up the fight against this criminal activity, which not only finances terrorist groups, but also greatly affects the environment and natural resources.”

Harm to the environment


Illegal mining produces a number of negative consequences, including soil and water contamination, land erosion, and the loss of fauna and flora, according to the study “Impact of Illegal Mining in Colombia,” published in May 2013 by the Development and Peace Research Institute (INDEPAZ).

Scientific studies like the INDEPAZ report have extensively documented the ways that illegal mining can harm the environment. It requires large amounts of water, for example, depleting reserves that farmers and villagers depend on while weakening the soil. The use of backhoes to alter the natural course of rivers can impact their oxygen levels, harming fish and threatening the livelihood of fishermen. Contaminants from mining operations that find their way into water supplies can also threaten public health.

Illegal mining also produces negative social impacts.

“A false perception of abundance was created because the population earned more money, but now the population has to buy what they could once produce, due to the loss of agriculture as a main activity,” INDEPAZ reports.

Decreased coca cultivation


Groups like the FARC have adopted illegal mining because they insist on funding themselves at society’s expense. And as Colombian security sources crack down on drug cultivation and trafficking, criminal organizations are running out of options.

For example, coca cultivation decreased from 4,325 to 3,325 hectares in the department of Cauca between 2012 and 2013, according to the study “Monitoring Coca Cultivation 2013” by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). That report notes evidence that unlawful groups are engaging in higher levels of illegal gold extraction.

Illegal mining can be more attractive unlawful armed groups than coca cultivation, according to the study “Illegal Armed Groups and the Mining Industry in Colombia,” published in 2012 by the Observatory of Spain’s International Cooperation Office in Colombia. One significant reason is the high price of gold on the international market. In addition, gold is a lawful product, so mining it can also be used to launder money.


That is the peace the FARC preaches GOOD NEWS
ABOUT THE FARC This is the only way to protect the natural resources. What are just false positives.
The true FARC criminals are paraded around in Army helicopters. And the poor rural people who make a living as operators and dump truck drivers carrying materials from the river for construction projects. They're labeled guerilla fighters. Only a few days now before they end up turning the country over to the FARC narcoterrorists and assassins. It is time to do something for the planet Earth. the truth human beings [incomprehensible] is the most destructive species that exists. GOD gave us the earth to cultivate and take care of it NOT to destroy it it's tough that we are not doing anything for it EVERYTHING for money and ambition for power and wealth no wonder the BIBLE THE JUST AND TRUE WORD of GOD says: the root of all evil is the LOVE OF MONEY and what a real truth and true alone, greed as if when the wealthy of this planet die they'll take all that wealth with them, such ignorance and supposedly they are very intelligent. It's disgusting being that those who are wisest and most intelligent are those who truly fear GOD GREAT AND POWERFUL and they stay away from evil they are truly WISE AND INTELLIGENT and really are the ones who make true treasure in HEAVEN. Thank you for reading this comment this is such a bad channel I think it's better to reduce illegal coca planting and increase gold mining since this can be a way to improve the life style of other people That's good because this way there won't be so much illegality in the country and this way there will be more justice I think it's very good they post this news on the internet ...BUT WHAT IS EVEN WORSE, MEGA-MINING GIVES OUR NATURAL RESOURCES AWAY TO THE BIG TRANSNATIONAL COMPANIES, IN EXCHANGE FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR COUNTRY !!! The dialogues held with these people are not progressive. We need to see the results Congratulations for fighting such a demon against humanity. The government only goes after illegal mining because it doesn't pay tariffs or taxes...that is the only reason why. But they don't attack the mining operations that do pay taxes even though they're killing the earth, just because they pay taxes..according to the government, that kind of mining doesn't devastate the earth... I like it not all of them are legal Now for whom is that drug? For the public force the main criminals I agree... it's called "illegal" because taxes aren't paid so the rich can become richer even if they destroy all the environment. Because "legal" mining causes damage and they don't say that... no more... good-news- It's so sad just until Lord Jesus comes down will man understand the reason and the truth for his absurd behavior why oh why? The Lord said I leave you my peace, my peace I give you, I don't give it to you as man gives it to you don't trouble your heart nor have fear believe in God? Believe in Him jn14-27 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them. James 4:17
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