Colombian Army Has Detained 187 Gang Members in the Last Month
By Dialogo March 08, 2011The dismantling of the paramilitary groups was carried out without a good plan, those demobilized should be re-trained by the government in a civilian activity, so that they can reintegrate back into society, this is the best example to avoid those schools of thought that operate outside of the law, and thus avert them becoming common criminals or re-grouping into criminal gangs, living the life of a mercenary is the best way to learn how to fall prey to assaults, thefts, kidnappings, the guerilla fighters corrupt their own members and the weapons become an instrument of economic survival and work, there are two roads to take, the civilized or barbaric-with their obvious ignorance of democratic and legal order of things. In Colombia we are seeing this lack of planning with the social reintegration of those given amnesty. The guerilla and para-military myth does not bring about a better future. On the contrary, it has not been a regression to the barbaric past, marked with a disdain for the law, where weapons and spilled blood were the final word, bringing about more ruin and poverty. It is because the guerilla fighters have never been the solution for anything anywhere. Whereas its destructive capacity in all of the areas: economic, moral, ecological, legal; its enormous toll in lives, money, and resources place it at the top in the ruin of a country! And there isnâ€™t an army that can fight a 50 year war without losing its morale and creates problems for the military and civil leadership of a country. A good example is Colombia where there exist problems with abuse, motivated by the desperation of a never ending conflict and paid for by the lives of the army and the farmers and the politicians loot the coffers of the State.
In the last month, the Colombian authorities have arrested 187 alleged members of the new criminal gangs made up of drug traffickers and former extreme-right-wing paramilitaries, Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera announced on 5 March.
“Up to the present (there have been) 187 arrests, eight individuals who turned themselves in, and the seizure of 1,495 kilos of cocaine hydrochloride, 285 kilos of coca paste, and 31,000 kilos of solid raw materials,” Rivera indicated to reporters.
The minister was summarizing the results of Operation Troy, an offensive including 216 armed actions by the Army against these criminal gangs, which are active especially in the Andean country’s north and northwest.
In recent years, at least seven of these gangs have been formed in Colombia, where they are active in at least half of the country’s provinces, in what Juan Manuel Santos’s administration considers one of its chief security challenges.
In order to confront these gangs, the administration decided in February to make use of the armed forces, and up to now, it has reinforced the police with seven hundred military personnel, in addition to activating naval units to patrol the rivers and coasts.
Between 2003 and 2006, Alvaro Uribe’s prior administration moved forward on a process to demobilize around 32,000 extreme-right-wing paramilitaries through the Justice and Peace Act, which granted them favorable treatment in court in exchange for confessing their crimes and making reparation to victims.
Nevertheless, thousands of them are now members of these new criminal gangs.