Colombia vows to increase the presence of police and military authorities on the Ecuadorean border to counter the activity of rebel and drug-trafficking groups in the region.
“We have to strengthen the institutional capacity of all entities that protect the tranquility in this prosperous region [of Nariño] … because of this we decided to move the offices of Interpol and [Colombia’s judicial and investigative police unit] SIJIN from [department capital] Pasto to [border town] Ipiales,” Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon told press after meeting with local authorities in the violence-ridden town of Tumaco.
Additionally, the minister said Colombia and southern neighbor Ecuador would revise the presence of illegal border crossings used by illegal armed groups to escape Colombian military offensives and traffic drugs.
“We are making progress with Ecuador in improving our security and defense relations during bilateral meetings. The wish of both nations it to create tranquil zones for our peoples and within this context we proceed to revise illegal border crossings.”
According to the United Nations’ Office on Drugs and Crime, the Ecuadorean border is one of the most important regions for the cultivation of coca. Illegal armed groups like the FARC and “Los Rastrojos” have a strong presence in these regions.