Colombian Army Improves Safety in Huila through Sword of Honor II

Colombian Army Improves Safety in Huila through Sword of Honor II

By Dialogo
December 10, 2014




Troops from the Army’s Ninth Brigade participating in the Sword of Honor II initiative have captured 402 suspects of crimes including homicide, extortion, and sexual abuse, as of early December.

That number is just the latest indication of the impact the Sword of Honor series of initiatives has had in the region. In 2012, the Colombian Armed Forces launched in Sword of Honor, a counterinsurgency effort to confront and defeat the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and other terrorist groups. That initiative was so successful – disrupting terrorist attacks, seizing firearms, dismantling land mines, and persuading hundreds of FARC operatives to demobilize – that President Juan Manuel Santos launched Sword of Honor II in January of this year.

Sword of Honor II, which operates in seven departments in southern Colombia, features social projects to help the civilian population in addition to military operations.

Success in Huila


Sword of Honor II has been particularly effective in persuading FARC operatives to demobilize. Since the initiative was launched, 42 members of the terrorist group in Huila department have left the terrorist organization to rejoin civilian society – from low-ranking operatives to high-ranking leaders.

“The volunteer surrenders have a weakening effect in the financial and logistic network of the illegal armed group in Huila,” reported the Ninth Brigade in a statement.

Its troops in Huila have also recovered 56 stolen cattle and 71 stolen vehicles; seized 107 illegal firearms and more than 7,800 ammunition cartridges; captured 29 alleged drug dealers; and seized 687 kilos of illegal substances. They’ve also provided social assistance to the civilian population such as counseling to victims of extortion.

Improving security in Huila


By improving public safety in Huila, the Army is helping law-abiding members of the community live and conduct their businesses in peace, contributing to the socio-economic well-being of the region.

“The Army is concerned and proactive in bringing socioeconomic benefits to the communities in the conflict zones. It is the only institution that has the capacity to reach those far and difficult areas with very limited state presence,” said Yadira Gálvez, a security analyst with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). “The Army is working towards the comprehensive economic and social recovery of those areas, and the civilian population will participate and respond to programs that are generating progress for their communities.”

With the help of the civilian population, the Ninth Brigade has made progress in the fight against extortion, a crime that threatens the socio-economic health of a community. Between January and early December, civilians filed 54 reports of extortion – and indication that the community trusts the soldiers to help them deal with this sensitive issue. So far, Army troops have captured 90 extortion suspects.

“The main objective is to create an environment of security and stability in the zones that have been freed from the guerrilla groups,” Gálvez said. “Thanks to the development work the Army is doing, the communities have more contact with it and understand that the Armed Forces are important for the national development because they are solid institutions.”

Overall, the Sword of Honor II initiative is showing positive results.

“The state’s presence is felt throughout the country. The Colombian Army has shown that it has more capabilities than the hard-hit FARC,” the security analyst said. “Even if the FARC continue their criminal activities, the government won’t stop fighting them, nor fighting the drug traffic. The authorities are working to take back territory, capture FARC leaders and stop the guerrillas and the illegal activities that support them financially.”



Troops from the Army’s Ninth Brigade participating in the Sword of Honor II initiative have captured 402 suspects of crimes including homicide, extortion, and sexual abuse, as of early December.

That number is just the latest indication of the impact the Sword of Honor series of initiatives has had in the region. In 2012, the Colombian Armed Forces launched in Sword of Honor, a counterinsurgency effort to confront and defeat the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and other terrorist groups. That initiative was so successful – disrupting terrorist attacks, seizing firearms, dismantling land mines, and persuading hundreds of FARC operatives to demobilize – that President Juan Manuel Santos launched Sword of Honor II in January of this year.

Sword of Honor II, which operates in seven departments in southern Colombia, features social projects to help the civilian population in addition to military operations.

Success in Huila


Sword of Honor II has been particularly effective in persuading FARC operatives to demobilize. Since the initiative was launched, 42 members of the terrorist group in Huila department have left the terrorist organization to rejoin civilian society – from low-ranking operatives to high-ranking leaders.

“The volunteer surrenders have a weakening effect in the financial and logistic network of the illegal armed group in Huila,” reported the Ninth Brigade in a statement.

Its troops in Huila have also recovered 56 stolen cattle and 71 stolen vehicles; seized 107 illegal firearms and more than 7,800 ammunition cartridges; captured 29 alleged drug dealers; and seized 687 kilos of illegal substances. They’ve also provided social assistance to the civilian population such as counseling to victims of extortion.

Improving security in Huila


By improving public safety in Huila, the Army is helping law-abiding members of the community live and conduct their businesses in peace, contributing to the socio-economic well-being of the region.

“The Army is concerned and proactive in bringing socioeconomic benefits to the communities in the conflict zones. It is the only institution that has the capacity to reach those far and difficult areas with very limited state presence,” said Yadira Gálvez, a security analyst with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). “The Army is working towards the comprehensive economic and social recovery of those areas, and the civilian population will participate and respond to programs that are generating progress for their communities.”

With the help of the civilian population, the Ninth Brigade has made progress in the fight against extortion, a crime that threatens the socio-economic health of a community. Between January and early December, civilians filed 54 reports of extortion – and indication that the community trusts the soldiers to help them deal with this sensitive issue. So far, Army troops have captured 90 extortion suspects.

“The main objective is to create an environment of security and stability in the zones that have been freed from the guerrilla groups,” Gálvez said. “Thanks to the development work the Army is doing, the communities have more contact with it and understand that the Armed Forces are important for the national development because they are solid institutions.”

Overall, the Sword of Honor II initiative is showing positive results.

“The state’s presence is felt throughout the country. The Colombian Army has shown that it has more capabilities than the hard-hit FARC,” the security analyst said. “Even if the FARC continue their criminal activities, the government won’t stop fighting them, nor fighting the drug traffic. The authorities are working to take back territory, capture FARC leaders and stop the guerrillas and the illegal activities that support them financially.”
The FARC are terrible criminals who have no right to forgiveness. Santos is the one who forgives them and stimulates them by giving them the country and putting an end to our armed forces.
Santos, you are a cheater along with your accomplices in Congress. For all the Colombians who read this comment, support what is denounced here. How can the government publish the good works our honorable men do, yet they don't publish that the resources of the military health service are bankrupt. That is what the department of CAQUETA is living through. This message is a voice for all those who keep silent and don't dare speak. The question is for the Minister of Defense, for President Santos, who only talk about the peace process, while they abandon all the families of thousands of men who have given their lives and another number who still give their lives for this country. Support and continue to publish the truth. To all the Colombians of the Armed Forces best wishes to you what the Colombian armed forces are doing is very elegant. Reduce everywhere in the country the [number] of criminals who bleed our territory in every sense Ver good for our armed forces they deserve our most sincere gratitude the national government must keep in mind that the government's obligation is the health and well being of each and every one of the Colombians We all have a child in us. If we respect that child inside, we will respect the minors who are around us. No to violence against children The armed forces are a support to the city because they can protect us from the evil doers and also show us the reality of the world
Share