Valle del Cauca. In a joint, coordinated and interagency operation conducted by the National Navy, the National Army, the Colombian Air Force, the National Police and the Attorney General of the Nation, an operation was carried out against illegal mining on the area of the Micay River, in the department of Cauca, where the destruction of machinery valued at more than 3,800 million pesos was carried out, hitting the organized armed group ELN.
The intelligence information organized jointly, for more than a year, by the National Army, the National Navy and the Colombian Air Force, led to determine that the troops had to conduct an air assault operation in four objective points where the machinery, separated each other by three and up to five kilometers, had been stablished.
Thus, this operation required the participation of 200 men of the Assault Groups of the Infantry Battalion No. 24 and the Marine Infantry Battalion No. 21, a ship and fluvial elements of the National Navy; as well as the Assault Group of the Brigade No. 29 and the Brigade Against Illegal Mining of the National Army; aircrafts form the Air Combat Command No. 7 of the Colombian Air Force; the Mobile Squadron of the mounted police, the Mobile Antiriot Squadron and the Judicial Police of the National Police and the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation.
The adverse weather conditions did not stop the execution of this air assault operation, which was carried out simultaneously and in which it was possible to destroy and incinerate seven backhoes, 11 diesel engines and one shotgun. In two of the points, although the community tried to attack on the troops that carried out the operation, the situation was controlled by the Mobile Anti-Riot Squadron of the National Police.
According to the investigations, these points of illegal exploitation of gold and machineries, belonged to the José María Becerra Front of the organized armed group Eln, which extracted about 300 million pesos per month. With this blow, an impact of more than 3,800 million pesos is dealt to this crime.
This is the second operation in less than a month carried out by the National Navy against illegal mining. The previous one was carried out in the municipality of Bajo Calima in Valle del Cauca, where the destruction of machinery, valued at 700 million pesos, was carried out.
Source: Pacific Naval Force - National Navy.