Ecuador has deployed some 10,000 security forces to its border with Colombia to deal with a “most grave” security problem, President Rafael Correa said Saturday.
Correa said the troops and police forces were deployed to bolster security amid concerns about “organized crime, drug trafficking (and) irregular groups,” including paramilitary groups and Marxist guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia known as FARC.
The deployment came less than 48 hours after Ecuadorean authorities arrested five alleged FARC guerrillas and Monday’s visit to Quito by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, the first time a Colombian leader visited the Ecuadoran capital since Colombian forces bombed a guerrilla encampment in Ecuador in 2008, triggering a diplomatic crisis.
Correa deployed some 7,000 army troops, around 18% of the national force, along with 3,000 police officers.
“Something like Angostura in March 2008 will not happen again; we are able to defend ourselves,” the Ecuadorean leader said.