Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, has announced an operation to dismantle micro-trafficking sites across the country, national media reported on Friday.
The operation, which received the backing of the Prosecutor General’s Office, has already resulted in the destruction of 202 micro-trafficking locations, and seeks to dismantle 274 more, according to the president.
Micro or small-scale drug trafficking, has become a major source of funding for criminal groups, especially in Colombia’s urban areas.
“The order I have given to police commanders, with permission from the Prosecutor General’s Office, is that they should destroy these locations, and starting tomorrow morning you will the large-scale destruction of micro-trafficking centers, which will destroy the backbones of the micro-trafficking organizations that have jeopardized the security of citizens,” said Santos.
According to Santos, the operation has resulted in the confiscation of large amounts of marijuana and cocaine in the last five days. At least 266 people have also been arrested in connection with the operation, reported Caracol Radio.
The operation is the continuation of an order that the president gave several months ago to destroy micro-trafficking centers around the country. Out of the 99 locations originally marked for destruction, 75 have been dismantled, Santos said.
The president also took to Twitter to announce the operation, stating, “We will destroy the structures of micro-trafficking! We have given to order to demolition the drug outlets that we have identified.”
Santos also announced that he will personally oversee the seizures. “I personally will be supervising that this operation is carried out as intended […] and we will not rest until we have defeated all enemies of the public,” he said.
On Wednesday, Santos signed a new decree allowing authorities to monetize properties seized by the government in operations targeting drug-traffickers and organized crime.
¡Vamos a darle a la raíz de estructuras de microtráfico! Hemos dado la orden de demoler los expendios de droga que tenemos identificados.
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) April 11, 2014
- Comienza demolición de ‘ollas’ de microtráfico en el país (Radio Caracol)
- Comienza demolición de ‘ollas’ de microtráfico en el país (RCN Radio)