With a positive report, the Fifth Brigade of the National Army closed 2020, ratifying the institutional commitment to continue working for the tranquility and wellbeing of families in the northeast of Colombia.
The achievement of the different military operations conducted by the soldiers of the Fifth Brigade, Second Division of the National Army, demonstrated during 2020, not only their coordinated and undertaken work for the security, but also their adaption to the needs required by the current context. That allows to have a positive report that is evidenced in blows to the organized crime that affects the instability and the wellbeing of vulnerable communities across the country.
As of December 28, 2020, in the areas of this Operational Unit, it was possible to capture 37 members of the Organized Armed Group ELN; 27 members of the GAO Clan del Golfo; 630 captures against common crime; and 112 members of Organized Crime Groups. Besides, 102 short-range weapons, 7 long-range weapons, 2,913 rounds of ammunition, 21 hand grenades, 18 explosive devices and 18 anti-personnel mines were seized.
Drug trafficking was also hit, since it was possible to find and destroy three laboratories for the production of cocaine hydrochloride; 77 for coca base paste; and 67 hotbeds with 688,150 coca bushes. 2,308 hectares of illicit plantations were eradicated and 11 people were captured for this crime.
Thanks to Operation Artemisa, the Environmental Bubble, and in coordination with regional and local environmental authorities, it was possible to recover 61 species of fauna and 207 cubic meters of wood. In the same way 120,145 trees were planted. 70 captures for crimes related to the environmental damage were made.
This effort of the soldiers led to shield the department of Santander from threat factors present in other regions of the country and, in the same way, to preserve from the own borders and neighboring departments, the tranquility of the families who live in the municipalities in south of Cesar, south of Bolívar, Antioquia, Norte de Santander and Boyacá.
The confidence of civilians towards the Military Forces, was the main factor to reduce in 57 percent the problem of kidnapping, that is to say, from 7 cases in 2019 to 3 cases in 2020, in the area of the Fifth Brigade. Besides, a reduction of 5.8 percent, for the crime of extortion, was achieved: from 223 reports in 2019 to 210 in 2020.
Unarmed effort: adaptability and reinvention
The challenges during the year by the COVID-19 pandemic led to the rethinking of strategic lines that not only sought to propel for the security of the region, but also for the wellbeing of the most vulnerable sectors. In the same way, the different emergencies led to demonstrate the capacities and training of our soldiers to ensure tranquility and support the civilian authorities in difficult times.
9 emergencies were attended with troops of the platoon of Assistance and Prevention of Disasters in Floridablanca, Piedecuesta, in the route Curos – Málaga (with the installation of a military bridge with a capacity of 52 tons), in Rionegro, in Enciso, in Girón and the support that was made in San Andrés Islas, during the emergency by Hurricane Iota.
During the isolation measures decreed by the National Government, the soldiers gave all their capacities to support the National Police, not only to ensure the compliance of the decrees, but also to solve, in a certain way, the needs of the community. For that reason, through campaigns such as Del Campo a Tu Casa (From the Field to your Home), 2,300 homes were benefited with the distribution of farmers’ food baskets, made with products from more than 100 rural families of the village Soto Norte, who had incomes of more than USD 34,000. 103,377 humanitarian aid was distributed and a Field Hospital was set up in Bucaramanga.
The commitment to achieve these goals is the guarantee of the permanent effort that provides security and tranquility to the inhabitants. In this way, the National Army ratifies its commitment to bring peace and prosperity to every corner of the country, through a coordinated, joint and interagency work that demonstrates the work of the State in this region of the country.
Source: press-Fifth Brigade of the National Army