QUITO – The U.S. government delivered $1.22 million worth of equipment and gear to the Ecuadorian armed forces to support operations to monitor drug smuggling and guerrilla activity along the country’s border with Colombia.
The U.S. Embassy in Quito said the donation, which was made at the beginning of May, included replacement parts and accessories for tactical vehicles, parts and accessories for boats and tactical equipment like night-vision goggles, GPS systems and bullet-proof vests, among other items.
The equipment is a contribution from the U.S. military assistance program and includes gear for individuals, along with tactical vehicles and contributions to the river patrol program being undertaken by the Ecuadorian military.
“The aim is to support the Ecuadorian military so that they can carry out more effective tactical operations in the jungle against drug traffickers and illegal groups like the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia),” the U.S. Embassy said in a communique.
The program is one more example of the “excellent cooperation that exists between the militaries of the two countries and of the continuing commitment of the U.S. government to the security and well-being of the Ecuadorian people,” the embassy said.
Colombia is the world’s leading producer of cocaine and the scene of a decades-long internal conflict that has sent tens of thousands of refugees fleeing into Ecuador.