3,170 Members of Illegal Groups No Longer Fighting in Colombia

By Dialogo
June 07, 2011

A total of 3,170 leftist guerrillas, members of criminal gangs, common criminals, and drug traffickers have been killed or taken into custody or have voluntarily turned themselves in since August, when Juan Manuel Santos’s term began, the president revealed.

“During my administration, more than 1,570 members of illegal armed groups have been neutralized – including those arrested and casualties – and more than 1,600 have been demobilized,” Santos affirmed at a public event organized by the Army command in Bogotá.

“In this administration’s first ten months, terrorist acts in the country have decreased by 10%. We’re winning the military battle. The guerrillas are not accepted or viewed favorably by 97% of the Colombian population, which repudiates their acts,” he emphasized.

According to the 2010-2014 Development Plan recently approved by Congress, Santos plans to dedicate 32.7 billion dollars to security and public order over his four-year term.

In 2010, 21.2 trillion pesos (around $11.66 billion dollars) were spent on those areas, according to official figures, of which 19.1 trillion pesos (10.5 billion dollars) went to operating expenses, and the remainder to capital spending.

Colombia has been facing an internal armed conflict involving leftist guerrillas, extreme right-wing paramilitary groups, drug traffickers, and other criminal gangs for more than forty-five years.