Tons of Cocaine Seized at FARC Lab in Colombia

first_img The Colombian Army dismantled a drug lab that belonged to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and seized 3.9 tons of alkaloids in a rural area at Cauca department, a military source informed on March 16. “The joint operation with the Prosecutor’s Office was carried out in a rural area near the village of El Zanjal, in Timbiquí jurisdiction (Cauca). We were able to seize 3.9 tons of cocaine, as well as other supplies,” Colonel Jorge Mora, who commands the Army’s Special Brigade against drug trafficking, said. The drugs, seized on March 13 and valued at $22.2 million, were shown to the press at an Air Base in Tumaco Port, located in the department of Nariño on the Pacific coast. The lab had the capacity to produce over a ton of cocaine per day, serving as financial support for the FARC’s Joint West Command. Furthermore, the premises had the capacity to lodge at least 70 people, with two warehouses in which to store the cocaine. Before finding the lab, military troops engaged in combat against guerrillas from FARC’s Front 60, according to Mora. “This big production center was used for funding the 6th, 8th, 29th, 30th, 60th and Manuel Cepeda Vargas fronts, which operate in the departments of Valle del Cauca and Nariño, (on the border with Ecuador),” he stated. The Prosecutor’s Office said that the drug was sent through the Pacific to the United States. “There, some of the drugs are exchanged for weapons, ammunition, and explosives, presumably for the FARC.” According to the U.N., Colombia is the main cocaine producer worldwide, along with Peru. Every year, local authorities seize hundreds of tons of drugs from guerrillas, criminal paramilitaries and drug trafficking gangs. These cargos are mainly transported to Europe, Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico, where cartels such as Tijuana, Juárez, Los Zetas and Sinaloa operate. In February, President Juan Manuel Santos ordered the local authorities and the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the alleged presence of Mexican cartel members, especially the Sinaloa, in Nariño and Valle del Cauca. By Dialogo March 20, 2013last_img

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