Ecuador deploys military contingent against Colombian illegal groups
By Dialogo September 14, 2010
The Ecuadorean Navy has deployed a hundred marines to the Amazonian locality of General Farfán to combat Colombian irregular groups active in that border region, the government announced.
The marines were transferred from the port of Guayaquil (in southwestern Ecuador) to patrol the area of General Farfán, in the province of Sucumbíos, which borders on the Colombian department of Putumayo, the announcement indicated.
The executive branch indicated that the military personnel are carrying out security responsibilities and measures to prevent the smuggling of arms, ammunition, and fuel. “They are also engaged in property searches and in seeking and arresting armed individuals or members of (Colombian) illegal armed groups (GIAC) in their area of responsibility,” the statement added.
The Ecuadorean defense minister, Javier Ponce, has said that his country considers Colombia’s strategy for guarding the two countries’ approximately seven-hundred-kilometer-long shared border insufficient, for which reason Ecuador insists that its neighbor increase its military presence in the region.
“Ecuador considers that this effort is not sufficient. In addition, maintaining seven thousand uniformed personnel (along the border) requires no less than 100 million dollars a year from the (Ecuadorean) state,” he stated recently.
Ponce plans to meet with his Colombian counterpart, Rodrigo Rivera, in Quito soon in order to discuss this issue, Ecuadorean foreign minister Ricardo Patiño announced a week ago.