Santos Activates Military Mega-Operation in Southwestern Colombia

Santos Activates Military Mega-Operation in Southwestern Colombia
Bogota, Jan 12 (Prensa Latina) Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos will activate the so-called Hercules Joint Task Force today in the southwestern department of Nariño, official sources confirmed in this capital.
The new Task Force will be made up of more than 9,000 units from the Army, the Navy and the Police, and will mainly operate in the town of Tumaco and other municipalities in Nariño, which borders Ecuador.

Spokesperson for the Presidency said that Santos will activate the Hercules Stabilization and Consolidation Joint Task Force at the Stadium of Tumaco at midday on Friday.

The government claimed that the objective of this huge military deployment is to strengthen security and public order in that zone of the Pacific coast.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 14 people were murdered in Tumaco in late 2017 and early 2018 by criminal gangs fighting for drug trafficking in the region.

The victims were indigenous leaders, black people and peasants who defend their territories.

The Colombian Ombudsman's Office recently issued two alerts on the escalation of violence in Tumaco, where part of its population has been forced to flee their homes.

jg/mem/tpa