The Armed Forces of Ecuador and Colombia will carry out joint operations against drug trafficking, said yesterday the Minister of Defense of Ecuador, Patricio Zambrano, during the Presidential Meeting and VI Binational Cabinet.
“This is trying to work as quickly as possible. It allows us to believe that Colombia will have fixed positions, that we will share common detachments, which will allow us to secure the border area and provide greater protection to our fellow citizens, “said the official.
Zambrano indicated that Ecuador will maintain about 10,000 police and military personnel on the border, while on the Colombian side, according to Defense Minister
Luis Carlos Villegas, there are 10,000 new troops. The idea is to “begin the creation of a joint task force, interdiction operations against drug trafficking both on the river, on land “, Villegas said about the initiatives discussed.
About the attack last month in San Lorenzo, Esmeraldas, where a car bomb exploded in a police station, the Ecuadorian Interior Minister, César Navas, said he has a direct link with drug trafficking, organized crime, with residual groups of the FARC without discarding the presence of posters linked to that group.
Villegas said there is a willingness to strengthen investigative and intelligence teams to discover the perpetrators and prevent future events. At the inauguration of the binational meeting, the president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, indicated that the country has accompanied the search for peace in Colombia and reiterated his offer to continue hosting talks. His Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos thanked Moreno for his support for internal peace. Ecuador is the host country for talks with the Liberation Army (ELN).
There were technical tables to deal with commercial issues
Border controls and infrastructure, customs rate, and accumulation of certificate of origin were, among others, the commercial issues that were analyzed in binational meeting technical tables.
Mauro Andino, director of the National Customs Service of Ecuador (Senae), said they are talking with Colombia to install customs control units. One option is Mataje, Esmeraldas, where there is a bridge and a road. Regarding the rate, he mentioned that until February 20 they must present the documentation before the Andean Community (CAN) after the concern raised by neighboring countries.
About accumulation of origin, Pablo Campana, Ecuadorian Minister of Foreign Trade, indicated that it is important for the export of the two countries. He gave as an example the making of straw hats. The hat would be made in Ecuador and the ribbon that surrounds it, in Colombia. With that the product could enter with zero tariffs to different markets, he explained. (I)