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Colombian National Army provides health care to more than 800 people in La Gloria

Colombian National Army provides health care to more than 800 people in La Gloria

By Dialogo
October 22, 2014




The Colombian National Army is charged with protecting the country’s civilian population, and it recently extended that role into health care provision by providing medical treatment in the municipality of La Gloria, in the Department of Cesar.

Military physicians – including general practitioners, pediatricians, optometrists, odontologist, and gynecologists - provided their services to more than 800 civilians, including children and the elderly on September 30. They were joined by soldiers from the Third Special Energy and Roadways Battalion, Tenth Armored Brigade, National Army First Division, who provided haircuts and delousing by physicians in the battalion’s reserve units.

While military physician treated patients, soldiers with the Special Psychological Operations Group (GEOS) from the Tenth Armored Brigade entertained children from the area. Soldiers dressed as clowns, set up moon bounces for children, and provided snacks and the styling of various Vallenato music groups.

“This type of service allows our soldiers to look after the well-being of the civilian population, especially those who one way or another have been affected by the armed conflict in that area,” said the commander of the Tenth Armored Brigade, Brigadier General Adelmo Fajardo Hernández. “It is our responsibility to guarantee the safety and tranquility of the Colombian people, but we have a commitment to society to find ways to improve the welfare of the least fortunate members of the population.”

La Gloria is located in the southwestern portion of Cesar, near the Eastern mountain range and the Magdalena Medio valley. Economic and production development in the municipality of La Gloria is based on farming and fishing.

GEOS entertains children


This wasn’t the first time GEOS troops worked to provide health care to the civilian population. At the end of September, they supported other Colombian government agencies and an NGO to provide medical care to more than 1,000 people in the Department of Putumayo. At that event, GEOS soldiers also entertained area children. And in early October, GEOS troops and soldiers from the Eleventh Brigade sponsored the recreational event “Get to Know Your Army,” which was attended by more than 60 children at the El Amparo Comprehensive Development Center. That facility is run by the Bendecir Foundation in the neighborhood of Santander, located in the city of Montería, Córdoba. These integration events promoted activities that strengthen the social fabric of the communities in Montería. Members of the Bendecir Foundation supported the event to help youth learn about the National Army. By forging ties with children, Army soldiers can help encourage them to reject recruitment efforts by the FARC and the National Liberation Army (ELN).

“Without a doubt, these activities are part of a program to prevent crime and protect families,” said Jaime Libreros, a security analyst at the External University of Colombia. “The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia not only have not stopped illegal recruitment efforts, especially the recruitment of children, but they have increased their recruiting capabilities. The Army’s presence plays a critical role, because it dissuades recruitment and has managed to control some sites that historically have been vital to FARC’s recruitment plans.” The presence of the Army in neighborhoods where the FARC and the ELN operates helps improve public safety in those regions and reduces the chances that these outlaw groups will terrorize civilians. “The ability to intimidate society has a huge effect. So the security forces’ efforts to secure this area are essential.”



The Colombian National Army is charged with protecting the country’s civilian population, and it recently extended that role into health care provision by providing medical treatment in the municipality of La Gloria, in the Department of Cesar.

Military physicians – including general practitioners, pediatricians, optometrists, odontologist, and gynecologists - provided their services to more than 800 civilians, including children and the elderly on September 30. They were joined by soldiers from the Third Special Energy and Roadways Battalion, Tenth Armored Brigade, National Army First Division, who provided haircuts and delousing by physicians in the battalion’s reserve units.

While military physician treated patients, soldiers with the Special Psychological Operations Group (GEOS) from the Tenth Armored Brigade entertained children from the area. Soldiers dressed as clowns, set up moon bounces for children, and provided snacks and the styling of various Vallenato music groups.

“This type of service allows our soldiers to look after the well-being of the civilian population, especially those who one way or another have been affected by the armed conflict in that area,” said the commander of the Tenth Armored Brigade, Brigadier General Adelmo Fajardo Hernández. “It is our responsibility to guarantee the safety and tranquility of the Colombian people, but we have a commitment to society to find ways to improve the welfare of the least fortunate members of the population.”

La Gloria is located in the southwestern portion of Cesar, near the Eastern mountain range and the Magdalena Medio valley. Economic and production development in the municipality of La Gloria is based on farming and fishing.

GEOS entertains children


This wasn’t the first time GEOS troops worked to provide health care to the civilian population. At the end of September, they supported other Colombian government agencies and an NGO to provide medical care to more than 1,000 people in the Department of Putumayo. At that event, GEOS soldiers also entertained area children. And in early October, GEOS troops and soldiers from the Eleventh Brigade sponsored the recreational event “Get to Know Your Army,” which was attended by more than 60 children at the El Amparo Comprehensive Development Center. That facility is run by the Bendecir Foundation in the neighborhood of Santander, located in the city of Montería, Córdoba. These integration events promoted activities that strengthen the social fabric of the communities in Montería. Members of the Bendecir Foundation supported the event to help youth learn about the National Army. By forging ties with children, Army soldiers can help encourage them to reject recruitment efforts by the FARC and the National Liberation Army (ELN).

“Without a doubt, these activities are part of a program to prevent crime and protect families,” said Jaime Libreros, a security analyst at the External University of Colombia. “The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia not only have not stopped illegal recruitment efforts, especially the recruitment of children, but they have increased their recruiting capabilities. The Army’s presence plays a critical role, because it dissuades recruitment and has managed to control some sites that historically have been vital to FARC’s recruitment plans.” The presence of the Army in neighborhoods where the FARC and the ELN operates helps improve public safety in those regions and reduces the chances that these outlaw groups will terrorize civilians. “The ability to intimidate society has a huge effect. So the security forces’ efforts to secure this area are essential.”
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