Ecuador Captured 19 Suspected Colombian Guerrillas in 2012

By Dialogo
January 04, 2013

The Ecuadorean Armed Forces captured 19 suspected members of Colombian illegal armed groups (GIA, for its Spanish acronym) in border control operations with their neighboring country during 2012, and destroyed guerrilla camps and drug plantations, the area of the Northern Operational Command, according to reports from December 30.

“The detainees are suspected members of illegal armed groups, arrested on the northern border (with Colombia) in military operations carried out in 2012,” the spokesman for the Ecuadorean forces, Colonel Patricio Quelal told AFP.

He added that according to the figures from the 48 military and 15,000 support missions for the security of the State in the border areas with Colombia (720 km), the Armed Forces also located and destroyed 19 bases and nine GIA hideouts based in Ecuadorean territory, as well as 173,385 cocaine plants and 3,000 poppy plants.

The Armed Forces deployed 36,000 men in the operations, in which they also seized 96 weapons, (including four rifles), ammunition, grenades, missiles, food and medicine.

The Command’s work on the border with Colombia has the “aim of maintaining national sovereignty and neutralizing the actions of illegal armed groups that are involved in the illicit trade of weapons, ammunition, explosives and fuel,” added the Military unit in a statement.

Quito and Bogotá are promoting their relations after a diplomatic crisis following a Colombian Military attack on a clandestine Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) camp on Ecuadorean territory on May 1, 2008, which resulted in Ecuador breaking off diplomatic relations.

During the operation 25 people died among whom was the FARC’s number two, Raúl Reyes, who was also an Ecuadorean national. Diplomatic relations were resumed in November 2010.