Colombia Seminar: From Terrorist Insurgency to Transnational Organized Crime

Colombia Seminar: From Terrorist Insurgency to Transnational Organized Crime

By Geraldine Cook
March 11, 2016

Delegations from 18 countries gathered in Bogotá to hear how Colombia has dealt with terrorism and transnational organized crime, and how new threats on the horizon need to be addressed.

During an international seminar titled, “From terrorist insurgency to transnational organized crime,” in Bogotá, Colombia from March 8-10th, led by the Regional Center for Security Strategies (CREES, for its Spanish acronym) at the Colombian War College, Colombian Minister of Defense Luis Carlos Villegas Echeverri stated that Government Forces must be prepared and ready to face new incarnations of crime that are already on the horizon, and added that “those threats will not disappear until the demobilization is complete”.

The Defense Minister also said that “Colombia has a history of defeating drug cartels, but today we have a different kind of organized crime” and that another sort of threat to all societies has emerged. He reiterated the importance of international cooperation among neighboring countries, local authorities and other security agencies to conduct joint operations that will help meet these new challenges. “International cooperation must take its rightful place, which it always should have had,” he emphasized.

He also highlighted the work being done by CREES, whose mission is to generate and disseminate strategic knowledge in security, and to contribute to the training of high-level advisers on the prevention and management of new threats on the global stage.

Before the delegations from 18 countries in attendance at this academic event to analyze the evolution of terrorist insurgencies, Minister Villegas said that Colombia has a very important story to tell. “We have been successful in battling terrorism and transnational organized crime. The two phenomena arose simultaneously, and that has allowed us to have a political system today that provides a secure environment for Colombians.”

Furthermore, during the seminar’s opening ceremony, the director of the War College, Major General Juan Carlos Salazar Salazar, announced the launch of Revista CREES
, a new publication with a scientific focus, specializing in security matters. The content is developed by researchers at CREES and other domestic and international think tanks who were invited to form a knowledge network based on research and joint efforts, and to create a space for the exchange of ideas and reflections about topics related to Security in the [Western] hemisphere, and its implications for the rest of the world.

The three-day seminar was attended by officer students in the Advanced Military Studies and General Staff courses, who next year will be responsible for commanding operational and tactical Military Units in every region of the country.
In my opinion, there should be help for countries involved in this fight and greater investment in agriculture and industry in order to deter the trading of drugs. Should also [have investments] in health and education, especially for the young people.