Peruvian military helicopters launched missiles to destroy heavy machinery, presumably from Ecuador, that would be used for illegal mining activities in the border area between the two countries.
Alfredo Suquilanda, mayor of the Ecuadorian municipality of Macará, expressed concern about the action it could cause”more problems” on the border between the two countries.
The bombings with military helicopters of the excavation machines would have been carried out in the localities of Tabacal and Guarapo, on the Peruvian side, close to the Macará canton of the Ecuadorian province of Loja.
helicopters from #Peru bombed Ecuadorian digging machines that were in Peruvian territory, close to #Macara. The machinery would be carrying out apparent illegal mining work. pic.twitter.com/Dy9uvKKLLZ
– Ecuadorimmediate (@ecuainm_oficial) March 6, 2023
The event took place on February 27, but it was only publicized by the local media on Sunday. Tele7and this Monday the rest of the country’s media echoed it.
The mayor of Macará, Alfredo Suquilanda, informed, in an interview with Tele7, that the Ecuadorians were prospecting in Peruvian territory “and contaminating a binational river, which is the Macará river”.
“This is really worrying, as the Peruvian military authority had to coordinate with the Ecuadorian military authority so that there would be no misunderstandings later. Problems may arise later that could affect the peace that reigns on our border,” he said.
For his part, Hugo Estévez, from the Armed Forces of Ecuador, pointed out that it has not yet been confirmed that the machinery is Ecuadorian, but that it is a presumption.
#Store | Peruvian soldiers in helicopter bomb Ecuadorian heavy machinery carrying out mining work in Peruvian territory; general please avoid environmental contamination by mining and excrement in the river #Macara, @VillaFernando_ pic.twitter.com/5QGwANBPRh
— UV TELEVISION. (@UVtelevision) March 6, 2023
He stated, in an interview with ecuwarnthat the Peruvian uniformed officers communicated that “there are no documents, there is no record of these machines” that could indicate whether they are of Ecuadorian or Peruvian origin.
However, he mentioned that what they identified is that the machinery was operating in Peruvian territory and, therefore, the laws authorize them “to be able to act”.
The Ecuadorian military authorities confirmed that, in addition, there are 10 detainees for the operation in the area; however, they still don’t know if any of them are of Ecuadorian nationality.