Ecuadorean Army seizes military weapons near border with Peru
By Dialogo January 15, 2014
The Ecuadorian Army recently seized seven anti-tank rockets, several powerful, military-grade machine guns, and a large amount of anti-aircraft ammunition during a security operation near the border with Peru.
Army soldiers found the rockets and the ammunition inside a tunnel near the town of Huaquillas, El Oro province, authorities said. Soldiers searched cellars connected to the tunnel, where they located the ammunition. Soldiers seized 500 rounds of .50-caliber anti-aircraft ammunition.
The operation was conducted in early January 2014 by soldiers with the “El Oro” No. 1 Motorized Brigade. Army commanders with the Arms Control Department supervised the operation, which was part of a broad plan to improve security in the border region. The plan is known as “Fortaleza 2.”
Military grade weapons
The soldiers found weapons that are more powerful than those typically used by street gangs or even transnational criminal organizations.
“There were .50-caliber anti-aircraft machine guns and anti-tank rockets discovered,” Carlos Silva of the Army’s Arms Control Department said during a press conference on Jan. 8, 2014.
“These supplies are for military use,” added Marcelo Montalvo, a spokesman for the Arms Control Department. It is unlikely the weapons were intended to be used by street gangs or even a transnational criminal organization, Montalvo said.
“A small plane or helicopter can be taken down easily with this arsenal,” Montalvo said.
Were the weapons destined for the FARC?
Army soldiers are investigating the possibility that the weapons were destined for rebel groups in Colombia. Authorities are also trying to determine where the weapons came from and which group was storing them. Army soldiers are investigating the possibility that the weapons were destined for a rebel group in Colombia, perhaps the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
“It is too early to know if these weapons were intended for the FARC,” said Rafael Martínez Baldeón, El Vocero Nacional senior security analyst.
“If the investigation determines that the weapons were for the FARC, this confiscation tells us that despite the peace negotiations between the FARC and the Colombian government, the FARC’s strategy still contemplates violence, at least until an agreement is reached,” the security analyst said.
Colombia and the FARC are engaged in peace talks in Havana.
The FARC’s history of using military weapons
The FARC, which has been fighting the Colombian government for 50 years, has a history of buying and using military-grade weapons.
In 2009, Colombian authorities reported that since 1999, security forces had seized military-grade weapons from the FARC that came from at least 20 countries, El Tiempo reported. Security forces had seized explosives and anti-tank missiles that came from North Korea, Russia, Romania, Sweden, and China, authorities said.
In 2005, Ecuadorian police arrested three Colombian citizens and one Ecuadorian who were attempting to purchase eight grenades and a rocket launcher for 29th Front of the FARC. A month earlier, Ecuadorian police seized 50,000 rifle bullets destined for the FARC. .
The seizure near the border marked at least the third time in eight months that Ecuadorean security forces had seized military grade weapons.
In June 2013, security forces involved in Operation Galaxy confiscated grenades and an RPG rocket launcher from a group of drug traffickers. Security forces captured several suspected drug traffickers.
The organized crime operatives were planning on sending a half-ton of cocaine to Mexico on a Centurion 2, a small aircraft, authorities said. The organized crime operatives were believed to be part of an alliance between Telmo Castro Donoso, an Ecuadorean drug trafficker, and Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the fugitive kingpin of the Sinaloa Cartel.
“Based on cases from the past, we cannot rule out that the weapons confiscated in early January were destined for a local criminal group,” Martinez Baldeón said. “Groups linked to drug trafficking have sufficient resources to finance these weapons as they have shown in the past.”
In May 2013, Army soldiers seized eight PG-7 rockets in the town of Calacali, near the capital city of Quito. The rockets are typically fired with Russian-made RPG-7 rocket launchers.
Cooperation at the border
In recent months, Ecuador and Peru strengthened their cooperation in the fight against organized crime activity along the border shared by the two countries. Security forces are fighting drug and weapons smuggling, human trafficking, and other criminal enterprises.
On Nov. 14, 2013, Peruvian President Ollanta Humala and Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, met in the Peruvian border town of Piura to sign security and cooperation agreements under the framework of the 7th Binational Ministerial Cabinet.
Nine days later, President Correa met with the Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in the Colombian city of Ipiales, on the border with Ecuador, to close the 2nd Binational Ministerial Cabinet. Correa and Santos signed eight agreements strengthening cooperation on security and other issues.
The Army disarms criminal groups
In 2013, the Ecuadorian Army seized more than 4,000 firearms, nearly 400,000 rounds of ammunition, more than 170,000 sticks of dynamite, and 45 grenades, according to the military’s annual report.
The Army also destroyed nearly 6,000 explosive devices and about 10,000 detonation fuses. Some of the explosives and fuses were seized from groups engaging in illegal gold mining.
In November 2012, Ecuadorean Vice President Jorge Glas publicly denounced illegal gold mining after a gun battle between Army soldiers and miners in an Amazonian region left one civilian dead. Nine soldiers were wounded during the confrontation, which took place in the Morona Santiago province.
“There are armed and dangerous delinquents in organized mafias who are ready to kill to continue their illegal activities. But we aren’t going to let them,” Glas told the website Ecuadorinmediato.
Very important news, they encourage reading to be properly informed Good article but it would be appropriate to provide more information about how the mafias operate in general (organized crime) and how we should get organized in order to repel these kind of social problems that are taking place this century. The guerrilla In Latin America has its origin in the Cuban Revolution. Its growth was strengthened during the 60s and 70s throughout Mexico, Central America, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Colombia. The guerrilla was seeking the support of the people based on the social inequalities and causing crisis within governments, which started to fall and were later replaced by military Juntas. The guerrilla still lives with the support of the international NGOs and the class inequalities, it led to the vindication of the indigenous people. The weapons and ammunition are coming from the warehouses of Peru's Army. More control, gentlemen of Ã‰POCA. I wish with all my heart that these operations were frequent and not sporadic. I work in the East and it's common to hear about how people, apparently connected with the guerrilla, operate in the sector of Playas del Cuyabeno, taking hostages. I say this so that they perform surveillance in that sector. Greetings. These really are important news. Definitely what is expected by everyone who wants to be up to date with the events that are taking place on a global level, every moment. THANK YOU FOR IT. SINCE IT ISN'T OFFICIALLY BROADCAST, THIS INFORMATION IS UNKNOWN TO US. I FIND IT VERY INTERESTING TO HAVE A CHANNEL PROVIDING INFORMATION OF INTEREST FOR THOSE WHO WERE PART OF A MILITARY ORGANIZATION. If I find it interesting, I'd like to receive your electronic newsletters by email.
Esq. Numa Pompilio Romero Good afternoon, if you talk and write about weapons, why don't you have qualified people.
-YOU ARE DOING THE SAME THING AS WHEN PERU AND ECUADOR WENT TO WAR AND THEY ACCUSED THE PRESIDENT OF SELLING ARMS.
-THE COUNTRY NEEDS MORE LOYALTY. LUIS I'd like to express my opinion regarding the maritime issue between CHILE and PERU. I think the Hague countries agree with PERU on everything, as it happened during the Cenepa War where they gave PERU our territory.... MOST IMPORTANTLY, ECUADOR, PERU WILL DO THE SAME. Compatriots, you'll see what will happen, since the pretty ones from The Hague agree with Peru on everything, they will take it from us... whatever you can see on the map, they will want it. Thank you. IT IS OK FOR THE ARMY TO SEIZE THAT MATERIAL, BUT THE MILITARY HIGH COMMAND DOES NOT DISCLOSE OTHER ISSUES OF NATIONAL INTEREST. Mister Alejandro, you cannot say that the weapons are coming from the warehouse of the Peruvian army. Do you happen to have proof? Submit it and don't make statements without a foundation. ECUADORIAN FRIEND, THE HAGUE AGREED WITH PERU BECAUSE CHILE HAD NO MARITIME BORDER WITH PERU. IF THEY HAVE HAD IT, PERU WOULDN'T HAVE GOTTEN ANYTHING. WHY DO YOU THINK CHILE IS ACCEPTING IT NOW? Our armed forces deserve our congratulations and all of our support because they dedicate all their efforts and lives so that there can be order and peace within Ecuador and with its neighbors. This news says that the armament is coming from the Peruvian army and I agree with Pato Montenegro's opinion, that Peru is using a STRATEGY to influence in some way at The Hague or wherever by playing the victim, and that way take over the lands of neighboring countries. And the way to counteract is by using their own subterfuges. Good morning, it would be important that the authorities and the army informed us where did those weapons come from, and who were they meant for. ATTENTION LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES, THE POWERS WANT TO TRANSFER THEIR WARS TO THESE COUNTRIES, THE WAY THEY ARE DOING IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD. THAT'S HOW THEY MAKE THEIR BIG BUSINESS, BY SELLING WEAPONS AND KEEPING OUR RESOURCES TO THEMSELVES. PLEASE, A LOT OF RESEARCH AND INTELLIGENCE... IT'S INTERESTING TO FIND OUT WHAT'S GOING ON AROUND US, THAT WAY WE CAN FIGURE OUT HOW TO SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS, BY HAVING MORE PERTINENT INFORMATION. Presumptuous intentions have never been a good argument, since the only thing it accomplishes is to generate confusion, aside from blemishing reputation and prestige earned through a lot of effort. This article suffers from bad intentions when it allegedly blames the FARCs for these warehouses of weapons, regardless of the shade of moralization the words carry. Dear sir, in this case Peru is right. They are entitled to it by right, logic and justice. Chile has been pulling their string telling them what to do, busting their balls and selling them WEAPONS TO ATTACK PERU, watching out for their own interests, while PERU OFFERS THEM WORK AND ACCESS TO THE AMAZON. Ask General Moncayo, it's already on youtube. Peru only wants them to pay their taxes and respect the Peruvian laws, and nothing else and free access and then, the war with Peru would be over. CHILE WAS MAKING ITS MOVE, BUSTING ECUADOR'S BALLS, responding to their interests and becoming enemies with Peru, speculating about the time frame of when the Peruvian Armed Forces would react. This requires joint effort between countries with common borders, in this case Peru and Ecuador. The origin has to be determined. Pato Montenegro, although this news isn't related with what I wish to express, you mention the topic of The Hague and I see that some Ecuadorians (I think you are one) realize the kind of neighbor we have. However in Chile there is disappointment regarding the attitude of the Ecuadorian government, as they silently reached a border agreement with Peru and evidently used it to get a better position in front of The Hague Court, in detriment of the treaties signed between the three countries back in the 50's and later ratified. By doing this, Ecuador proved to be a state that is constantly trying to create border conflicts in order to maintain an ignorant population, kept on bread and political circus. They have always used this strategy and will continue using it (and you know it very well).
I'd like to inform you that in less than 48 hours after delivering the ruling, they have already interpreted it to their convenience and have created a new conflict over a small piece of land that has always been part of Chile - since The Hague only considered the maritime limits and not the land ones, even though it is clearly stated that such maritime limit starts at the point of the land border, which favors Chile, However, they continue with this dangerous game of trying to provoke, while forgetting the painful lesson the history is trying to teach them, and yet they don't learn and play Russian roulette with the peace of the region.
I hope I'm wrong, but they are erasing with their elbows what has been written by hand, take care... It's so good that Ecuador and Peru work together!
In fact, there are no two other bordering countries with more ethnic and cultural affinity than Peru and Ecuador, along with Puno and Bolivia, of course.
This on top of the political needs, which require an increasingly closer cooperation. I am Chilean and my country suffered a dispossession, since Peru came about with lies and backstabbing and that's why nobody in Chile accepts it. Everyone only thinks about attacking, because the ruling is final. That's why I say that The Hague favored Chile but their ruling was not based on rights, instead they used a Solomon-like criteria and that's why everything will probably be solved through the war that Peru has wanted for so long. But if this is the way it's going to be, then we will defeat them again and will reach all the way to Lima. Dear beloved Ecuadorians, you have always been our strategic allies and have always been loyal to our armed forces. And that's why I advise you to pay attention to the Peruvians because they are TRAITORS. This assistance between neighboring nations must continue diligently, in order to remove the FARC from Colombia. ONLY ONE OBSERVATION: PIURA IS NOT A "TOWN". IT'S A CITY, AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ONES IN THE NORTH OF PERU. The name of this worthless poster says it all, "el men", zero credibility, a mix of real but misrepresented news with others that are completely fictitious. I support the comment of Mr. Pedro and take the opportunity to invite the journalist who wrote the news to come and visit Piura, so they don't rate us as a town, and may the joint work between Ecuador and Peru continue. We never manufactured weapons, in order to arm ourselves we will have to buy from mobsters who sell guns. They will take all our work and raw materials, and after some time they will be worthless. After coming here with nothing they dare to call us ignorant. I agree but they should be serious policies.. Excellent presentation of the news, with a dynamic aspect, congratulations to the journalists in charge. Only one thing, the second last name of the analyst of Vocero Nacional of Ecuador is not BanchÃ³n but BaldeÃ³n. He is Rafael Martinez BaldeÃ³n, because that's me. Anyways, congratulations - for any comment or contact my email is: firstname.lastname@example.org Luis?? your lack of ethics and knowledge makes me sad, it hurt you a lot that The Hague put you in your place with the different maritime border between Peru and Chile.
And now you speak of war?? Worry first about your planes that crash, your tanks that are obsolete and engines that are broken down, be aware of the situation and don't be just another animal, like those who walk on Avenida Hoggins. How can you join? It's a shame that Mr. Gabriel Alliende Figueroa states that the NGOs support the guerrillas in several Latin-american countries, and that's why they are still active. Before expressing an opinion or trying to inform, first of all one has to know for certain what is said, rely on one's own research and on serious y honest investigative articles. Ecuador should enter the PACIFIC ALLIANCE to strengthen political and economic ties and, this way, break the hegemony of Brazil and Argentina. We are on the Pacific Ocean, facing the powerful economies of Asia, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the US and Canada . We should also end this absurd and obsolete Socialism-Communism that has always failed. Peru has always been known as an expansionist country but they lack intelligence and ever since Huaynacapac Huascar, invaders have been defeated. For example we have the battles of Lake of Blood (Yahuarcocha), The Battle of Tarqui, Paquisha and the Condor Mountain Range and invaders have always been defeated; even in football we've brought them to their knees on their own field ha, ha, ha, ha................ Go ahead then, you lion. The Pacific Alliance is a military advancement from the North American imperialism to stop the regional integration under the principles of solidarity and complementarity such as UNASUR, CELAC, MERCOSUR, ALBA-TCP, Telesur, Banco del Sur. That is, an integration without the interference of the U.S., which is the only alternative for the harmonious and inclusive development of our countries through the sovereign control of the natural resources, the biomass of our coast and the Amazons. Very good. Everyone must do their job to disband those criminal groups.
Drug traffickers and criminals must be fought off and punished drastically, making use of the laws.
NO VIOLENCE, NO DEATHS. Congratulations to Ecuador, Peru and Colombia for the successful management they have at government level by strengthening their cooperation in the fight against organized crime activities throughout the border shared between those countries. The security forces are fighting against drug trafficking and arm smuggling, trafficking of people and other delinquent enterprises. Maybe you're not from Peru but organized crime has increased a lot or too much. In Peru they kill for 100 soles (less than 40 dollars) so the image abroad is one and the reality is another. There is extortion, 15-year old assassins that will kill you in cold blood. The gangs are organized and collect shares from the entrepreneurs or kill them. That's the reality, at least in Peru, regarding drug trafficking. It is true, there is a war and the army is cleaning it but the army cannot intervene against delinquency in the cities, and that's why politics suck in Peru. That's good for Ecuador, they have a President...a Mister President. I am from Peru and what sucks the most is the yellow press that seeks to sell more at the expense of truculent news. The crime levels can't even be compared to those seen in Venezuela, Colombia or Mexico, the latter being exporters of hit men gangs that operate in the country. To say that there are 15-year assassins is to take a case and turn it into the norm. The efforts and accomplishments in fighting crime aren't highlighted because they "don't sell". I would like to belong to the civil traffic agents force. I don't know if you can help me but it's my dream. Well, it's about time they do something, because all they do is play around. My most since congratulations to our Ecuadorian army for this magnificent work for the good of national security and as such, for preventing armed confrontations and the killing of civilians within our borders by the hands of the guerrilla men. Congratulations to our president RAFAEL CORREA. There is a reason he's the second most voted leader in the world. Until victory always, my dear president. I agree. The coast of what is now Ecuador was the cradle of the Mantena-Huancavilca culture that used to trade and do cultural exchanges throughout the Pacific Ocean over 5000 years ago, in rafts. There are settlements and remains of that culture in all of South America, Mexico, USA, Japan, etc., Why are we not part of the Pacific Alliance? Become a "banana-producing" country, associated with countries that have no development or future. The police and the army must act in the name of peace and the internal and external security of the country. As well as thoroughly investigate the trafficking of weapons and people, fight off drug trafficking in collaboration with the security devices of neighboring countries, since they are the most affected by terrorism and criminal groups that attack Latin America.