Colombian Navy to Activate Anti-Drug Task Force
By Dialogo February 17, 2012
Colombia’s National Navy will activate Anti-Drug Task Force Poseidon, based in Tumaco on a naval platform and under the operational command of the Pacific Naval Force, which will have the mission of neutralizing the strategic objectives of the FARC and terrorist support networks linked to narcotics trafficking.
Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón and commander of the National Navy, Admiral Roberto García Márquez, presided the activation ceremony, held at the Port of Tumaco, on February 17.
Surface, Coast Guard, submarine, and naval aviation units, a battalion of 500 career Marines who have been reassigned to this force, and a support group of Judicial Police will be available for the task force to allow it to implement its strategy under the command of Captain Luis Jorge Tovar Neira. It will also receive support from the Colombian National Army and Air Force units.
The Anti-Drug Task Force will be able to rely on the multi-purpose vessel ARC Valle del Cauca and expects to receive the offshore patrol vessel ARC 20 de Julio, which will sail from Cartagena in late February to join this new strategy, which, by way of maritime interdiction, spraying, and eradication operations, with a maritime and riverine emphasis, will seek to impact FARC finances, making them a non-viable source of income.
Attacking the Production Chain and Transport Vessels:
The Anti-Drug Task Force will attack the entire narcotics production chain along the coasts of the departments of Nariño and Cauca and will identify the brokers of chemical precursors, the purchasers of coca base, and the sites with a high concentration of coca crops, at the same time that it will continue neutralizing the vessels used by drug traffickers.
Drug-trafficking organizations use submersible and semi-submersible vessels to transport large amounts of cocaine hydrochloride from storage centers located along the Colombian coast to the coasts of the Central American countries.
The Colombian Pacific has been identified as the region most used for the creation of improvised workshops where these vessels are manufactured, due in part to its marshy areas with constant rain and high and low tides that facilitate the departure of the vessels at times of high tide and the production and storage of drugs at times of low tide.
Since 1993, when the first seizure of a semi-submersible used by drug traffickers was recorded, 73 vessels have been neutralized and seized, 57 in the Colombian Pacific, of which two were fully submersible.
OK, so the military forces must be very aware that terrorism exists not only in places where there is drug trafficking.