The new arrivals will become part of the Southwestern Joint Command comprised of soldiers from the army’s Third Division and special forces from Colombia’s Air Force and Navy.
The Colombian defense minister said he hoped military forces continued their collaboration with the department’s police to combat illegal armed groups.
Cauca has been a hotbed of violence in recent weeks. The historical FARC stronghold has witnessed a string of violent incidents involving the guerrilla group, state forces and the indigenous population who continue to protest the government and the FARC’s presence in the autonomous region.
On July 11, some 400 indigenous occupied a military base near the embattled town of Toribio to protest increase military presence in the region. This occurred the same day President Juan Manuel Santos visited the town to announce a new security strategy aimed at tackling FARC activity in Cauca. Police reclaimed the base July 17 resulting in one death and the injury of 23 others.
The government and indigenous leaders met Monday to discuss the ongoing violence in the region. The Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca issued a list of demands during the meeting which included the removal of state security forces from territory belonging to the Nasa indigenous tribe.