Colombia Reaches Unprecedented FARC and ELN Neutralizations in 2012
By Dialogo January 02, 2013
The Colombian Ministry of Defense’s operations assessment for 2012 shows a historical reduction of members in terrorist organizations. Figures issued by the Ministry indicate that there are no more than 10,000 FARC and ELN guerillas remaining. Hence, 2012 can be considered as the period of stronger control over terrorism in the last few years.
During the week in which the assessment was revealed, the Ministry of National Defense’s official figures showed that, throughout the year, the Armed Forces’ offensive actions facilitated the neutralization of FARC guerrillas by over 17.9%, compared to 2011 figures.
In regards to the ELN, over 21.9% of members belonging to this terrorist organization were neutralized, compared to 2011.
It can therefore be established that the number of FARC combatants fell below 8,000 since the beginning of the century, when records showed that there were around 20,000 guerrillas. In 2002, the ELN had over 4,000 armed combatants, but by the end of 2012 there were no more than 1,500.
It is evident that the Public Forces’ actions are seriously undermining organizations that insist on attacking the Colombian people, and that the Armed Forces are abiding by their constitutional commitment of safeguarding the rights of Colombian citizens,” said Colombian Minister of Defense Juan Carlos Pinzón, in reference to these figures.
It is important to highlight that guerrillas who have died in combat, been captured or demobilized are included when discussing the neutralizations.