Colombian National Army Dismantles FARC Cocaine Laboratory

By Dialogo
March 09, 2015



The Colombian National Army’s "General Luis Ernesto Ordoñez Castillo" Artillery Battalion No. 27 dismantled a large cocaine-producing laboratory that allegedly belonged to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in the Department of Putumayo, the Army reported on its website on March 4.

The Army used intelligence to locate and dismantle the facility, which was in the municipality of Puerto Asís. Soldiers learned of the laboratory from former members of the guerrilla group who had recently demobilized.

The laboratory featured five wooden structures, a plastic roof and a kitchen, and was capable of producing 1,200 kilograms of cocaine worth $33 million pesos (approximately $12,780) monthly. It was operated by the FARC's 48th Front, but had been abandoned when the Army arrived.

The dismantling of the laboratory marked the second time in about a week that Troops dealt a strong blow to the FARC’s 48th Front.

In a separate operation, on February 26 in Putumayo, Soldiers with the Sixth Division partnered with the Navy, Air Force and National Police to seize 430 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride belonging to the 48th Front. The FARC intended to provide the cocaine hydrochloride, which had a street value of about $12 million, to drug cartels and narco-trafficking organizations in Mexico and Ecuador.

In another operation, the Army's Mobile Brigade No. 6 of the Specific Command of Caguán eradicated more than five hectares of illegal coca crops allegedly belonging to the FARC in the southeastern Department of Caquetá, the Army reported on its website on March 3.

In the municipality of Cartagena del Chairá, Soldiers destroyed 7,700 plants that could have produced $15 million pesos (approximately $5,809) in cocaine for the FARC’s Luis Emiro Mosquera Southern Bloc of the 14th Front.

Cocaine production decreased in Peru and Bolivia in 2013


The number of hectares used to grow coca, which is the main ingredient used to produce cocaine, fell in Peru and Bolivia in 2013 compared to the previous year, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) said in its annual report. Coca can be cultivated in limited amounts for legal purposes, but the vast majority of coca cultivation is intended for illegal cocaine production.

In Peru, 49,800 hectares were used to cultivate coca crops in 2013, a major decrease compared to the 60,400 recorded by the INCB a year earlier.

The Board, which is an autonomous body of the United Nations, attributed much of the drop in Peru to the country’s Integral and Sustainable Alternative Development Program that helps farmers transition from cultivating coca to other crops. The program affects 800,000 residents in seven provinces.

In 2013, Peruvian security forces eradicated a then-record 24,000 hectares of coca after destroying 14,234 hectares in 2012. In 2014, security forces in Peru destroyed a national yearly record of 30,349 hectares of coca crops, topping their goal of 30,000 hectares.

In Bolivia, 23,000 hectares were used to grow coca in 2013, the country’s lowest mark since 2002, according to the INCB.

“In recent years the global supply of cocaine from South America has been reduced to an extent that can have a tangible effect on main consumer markets [worldwide],” the INCB wrote in its report, adding the availability of cocaine in Western Europe and the U.S. “remains considerably inferior to when it was at its highest around 2006.”

Bolivia and Peru grow limited amounts of legal coca, as it’s traditionally used in teas, medicine, and during Andean religious rites.


The Colombian National Army’s "General Luis Ernesto Ordoñez Castillo" Artillery Battalion No. 27 dismantled a large cocaine-producing laboratory that allegedly belonged to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in the Department of Putumayo, the Army reported on its website on March 4.

The Army used intelligence to locate and dismantle the facility, which was in the municipality of Puerto Asís. Soldiers learned of the laboratory from former members of the guerrilla group who had recently demobilized.

The laboratory featured five wooden structures, a plastic roof and a kitchen, and was capable of producing 1,200 kilograms of cocaine worth $33 million pesos (approximately $12,780) monthly. It was operated by the FARC's 48th Front, but had been abandoned when the Army arrived.

The dismantling of the laboratory marked the second time in about a week that Troops dealt a strong blow to the FARC’s 48th Front.

In a separate operation, on February 26 in Putumayo, Soldiers with the Sixth Division partnered with the Navy, Air Force and National Police to seize 430 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride belonging to the 48th Front. The FARC intended to provide the cocaine hydrochloride, which had a street value of about $12 million, to drug cartels and narco-trafficking organizations in Mexico and Ecuador.

In another operation, the Army's Mobile Brigade No. 6 of the Specific Command of Caguán eradicated more than five hectares of illegal coca crops allegedly belonging to the FARC in the southeastern Department of Caquetá, the Army reported on its website on March 3.

In the municipality of Cartagena del Chairá, Soldiers destroyed 7,700 plants that could have produced $15 million pesos (approximately $5,809) in cocaine for the FARC’s Luis Emiro Mosquera Southern Bloc of the 14th Front.

Cocaine production decreased in Peru and Bolivia in 2013


The number of hectares used to grow coca, which is the main ingredient used to produce cocaine, fell in Peru and Bolivia in 2013 compared to the previous year, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) said in its annual report. Coca can be cultivated in limited amounts for legal purposes, but the vast majority of coca cultivation is intended for illegal cocaine production.

In Peru, 49,800 hectares were used to cultivate coca crops in 2013, a major decrease compared to the 60,400 recorded by the INCB a year earlier.

The Board, which is an autonomous body of the United Nations, attributed much of the drop in Peru to the country’s Integral and Sustainable Alternative Development Program that helps farmers transition from cultivating coca to other crops. The program affects 800,000 residents in seven provinces.

In 2013, Peruvian security forces eradicated a then-record 24,000 hectares of coca after destroying 14,234 hectares in 2012. In 2014, security forces in Peru destroyed a national yearly record of 30,349 hectares of coca crops, topping their goal of 30,000 hectares.

In Bolivia, 23,000 hectares were used to grow coca in 2013, the country’s lowest mark since 2002, according to the INCB.

“In recent years the global supply of cocaine from South America has been reduced to an extent that can have a tangible effect on main consumer markets [worldwide],” the INCB wrote in its report, adding the availability of cocaine in Western Europe and the U.S. “remains considerably inferior to when it was at its highest around 2006.”

Bolivia and Peru grow limited amounts of legal coca, as it’s traditionally used in teas, medicine, and during Andean religious rites.
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