Photos: Colombia launches military push against narco gangs

In Colombia, the government is taking ever possible step against drug traffickers clearing national parks to plant coca. The government said that some 700 hectares (1,730 acres) of forest in the Sierra de la Macarena national park in southern Colombia have been destroyed by dissidents of the former FARC guerrilla group who rejected a 2016 peace agreement. Now, a special environmental protection force is to be set up as part of the offensive to safeguard natural resources, in what the UN says is the most bio-diverse country in the world after Brazil.

UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2020 07:24 PM IST 7 Photos
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Aerial view of coca fields in Tumaco, Narino Department, Colombia. The government said some 700 hectares (1,730 acres) of forest in the Sierra de la Macarena national park in southern Colombia have been destroyed by dissidents of the former FARC guerrilla group who rejected a 2016 peace agreement. (Raul Arboleda / AFP)

Aerial view of coca fields in Tumaco, Narino Department, Colombia. The government said some 700 hectares (1,730 acres) of forest in the Sierra de la Macarena national park in southern Colombia have been destroyed by dissidents of the former FARC guerrilla group who rejected a 2016 peace agreement. (Raul Arboleda / AFP)

UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2020 07:24 PM IST
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People arrive to destroy coca plants at an illegal coca crop in Tumaco. AFP reports that Colombia’s Defence Minister said that the military will step up an offensive against drug trafficking gangs responsible for clearing thousands of hectares of protected national parks for coca plantations. (Raul Arboleda / AFP)

People arrive to destroy coca plants at an illegal coca crop in Tumaco. AFP reports that Colombia’s Defence Minister said that the military will step up an offensive against drug trafficking gangs responsible for clearing thousands of hectares of protected national parks for coca plantations. (Raul Arboleda / AFP)

UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2020 07:24 PM IST
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A Colombian police officers shows a map with coca growing areas in Tumaco. “The police are not going to withdraw from the national parks where the criminals are trying to settle,” Carlos Holmes Trujillo told reporters of AFP in Bogota. “We are going to harden the military offensive to remove them from their dens.” (Raul Arboleda / AFP)

A Colombian police officers shows a map with coca growing areas in Tumaco. “The police are not going to withdraw from the national parks where the criminals are trying to settle,” Carlos Holmes Trujillo told reporters of AFP in Bogota. “We are going to harden the military offensive to remove them from their dens.” (Raul Arboleda / AFP)

UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2020 07:24 PM IST
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A Colombian police officer explains the cocaine making procedure in Tumaco. A special environmental protection force is to be set up as part of the offensive, Trujillo said, in a broad plan to safeguard natural resources in what the UN says is the most bio-diverse country in the world after Brazil. (Raul Arboleda / AFP)

A Colombian police officer explains the cocaine making procedure in Tumaco. A special environmental protection force is to be set up as part of the offensive, Trujillo said, in a broad plan to safeguard natural resources in what the UN says is the most bio-diverse country in the world after Brazil. (Raul Arboleda / AFP)

UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2020 07:24 PM IST
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A sniffer dog searches for explosives in a coca field in Tumaco. Last year, the government of President Ivan Duque launched Operation Artemisa to counter widespread deforestation, following the destruction of nearly 200,000 hectares in 2018, mainly in the Amazon. In addition to the indiscriminate cutting of trees for agriculture, illegal mining and coca plantations pose a threat to the country’s natural resources, according to the government. (Raul Arboleda / AFP)

A sniffer dog searches for explosives in a coca field in Tumaco. Last year, the government of President Ivan Duque launched Operation Artemisa to counter widespread deforestation, following the destruction of nearly 200,000 hectares in 2018, mainly in the Amazon. In addition to the indiscriminate cutting of trees for agriculture, illegal mining and coca plantations pose a threat to the country’s natural resources, according to the government. (Raul Arboleda / AFP)

UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2020 07:24 PM IST
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A man sprays coca plants with herbicide in Tumaco. (Raul Arboleda / AFP)

A man sprays coca plants with herbicide in Tumaco. (Raul Arboleda / AFP)

UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2020 07:24 PM IST
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Aerial view shows coca fields in Tumaco. Former national parks service director Carlos Castano told Colombia’s Radio W in an interview Monday that former guerrillas had threatened park officials in a bid to force them to leave the reserves. Around 2,300 FARC dissidents continue to operate, according to the government, funded by drug trafficking and illegal mining. (Raul Arboleda / AFP)

Aerial view shows coca fields in Tumaco. Former national parks service director Carlos Castano told Colombia’s Radio W in an interview Monday that former guerrillas had threatened park officials in a bid to force them to leave the reserves. Around 2,300 FARC dissidents continue to operate, according to the government, funded by drug trafficking and illegal mining. (Raul Arboleda / AFP)

UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2020 07:24 PM IST
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