Colombia’s Armed Forces will send more than 2,000 Navy troops to the Pacific coast on the southwest of the country after an unidentified armed group massacred seven people and kidnapped a local politician in the port town of Tumaco, Caracol Radio reported Monday.
According to the radio station, the reinforcements are to curb the wave of violence that has hit the southern coast region where guerrilla group FARC, drug trafficking group “Los Rastrojos” and several local gangs are active.
Sunday’s massacre and kidnapping came only two days after Colombia’s newly appointed Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon visited the town and promised improved security for its inhabitants.
Caracol reported that President Juan Manuel Santos will formally announce the increase in troops when visiting the town in the first week of October.
The Pacific coast line around Tumaco is one of Colombia’s main exit points for illicit drugs that is shipped either to Ecuador or Central America. The municipality has the highest murder rate — more than 100 homicides per 100,000 residents — in all Colombia.