Gustavo Petro denounced large amounts of weapons are missing from military bases AFP

Hundreds of thousands of ammunition rounds, missiles and anti-tank weapons are part of the inventory missing from two military bases in Colombia, a situation denounced by President Gustavo Petro this week.

Speaking alongside Defense Minister Iván Velásquez and Army Chief Luis Mauricio Ospina, Petro said chances are the weapons ended in "networks dedicated to the mass trade of weapons." He added that recipients could include both local and foreign criminal organizations, including those currently sowing chaos in Haiti.

Local outlet El Tiempo detailed all the weapons missing from the military bases located in Tolemaida and La Guajira, including about 20,000 grenades, almost 40,000 anti-tank loads, two spike missiles and 37 nimrod missiles, as well as 550 RPG rockets.

"This shows that mobs have penetrated our institutions through false ideologies. That ammo might be killing our law enforcement officials, our citizens and, perhaps, young people and those in Haiti and elsewhere in the world."

"They are mercenaries of violence and greed, and the judiciary must find out what their links are, the chiefs that are involved and their national and international networks," Petro said in a publication in X, formerly Twitter.

However, local journalist Jorge Eduardo Espinosa disputed the figures, saying Petro made reference to an internal document that wasn't the one that properly tallied the missing weapons and that the total figure was much lower. A large part of the weapons, he said, might not be loaded into the system but still be in the bases.

"There are periodical revisions in the military bases: vehicles, ammo, arms. It's odd that no one notices when strategic material is missing. Did the president read the wrong column?," Espinosa said on X.

"The missing material is in a certain column is the one that hasn't been loaded into the system. It doesn't mean it's missing, but it means it hasn't been loaded. Another column does hint what's missing and that of course needs to be investigated," he added.

Colombian authorities are conducting an investigation to determine the actual magnitude of the missing cache.

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