Colombian military forces destroy FARC splinter group’s cocaine mega-lab

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By Myriam Ortega / Diálogo
November 18, 2021

In mid-October, the Colombian Navy conducted a river operation, with the support of the Colombian Army and Air Force, during which it succeeded in locating and destroying a mega-laboratory capable of producing more than 3,000 kilograms of cocaine per month. The complex, found in the municipality of Tumaco, in the department of Nariño, consisted of 14 structures believed to belong to Los Contadores, a splinter group of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, in Spanish), the navy said in a statement. .

Following aerial reconnaissance and intelligence gathering efforts, authorities discovered the complex and launched a river operation due to the inhospitable conditions in the area, said Colonel Jaime Zambrano, commander of the 4th Brigade of the Corps of Colombian navy marines. Dialogue.

Navy personnel found materials to produce cocaine hydrochloride at the 14 mega-lab facilities. (Photo: Colombian Navy)

The mega-laboratory had the capacity to carry out the different phases of processing the cocaine base paste and cocaine hydrochloride crystallization, as well as the pressing and packaging. At the facilities, authorities found 2,065 kg of cocaine hydrochloride, 222 kg of coca base paste, 681 liters of fuel, 800 kg of food, machinery and other equipment used for drug production. In addition, they seized 5,925 kg of solid precursor chemicals and 17,980 liters of liquid precursor chemicals.

“These last two numbers are important because they help us prevent this group from polluting the tributaries with chemicals and damaging the mangrove swamp, which is a protected area,” Colonel Zambrano said.

The authorities destroyed the equipment and facilities found in a controlled manner on the spot, the navy said.

Colonel Zambrano explained that Los Contadores have a partnership with United Guerillas of the Pacific, another FARC splinter group, which wage turf wars with other gangs to control illicit crops, laboratories and international trafficking routes. narcotics in the region. “This coup was very significant because it affected the finances of these two groups, preventing around $ 100 million from entering their illegal savings,” he said.

So far this year, through October 28, the Naval Force Pacific has seized more than 146 tons of cocaine hydrochloride and more than 50 tons of marijuana, the officer said. In addition, the force seized more than 37 tons of solid precursor chemicals and 230 tons of liquid precursor chemicals.


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