Colombia’s Military, National Police, and Judiciary Improve Public Safety

Colombia’s Military, National Police, and Judiciary Improve Public Safety

By Dialogo
February 04, 2015




In 2014, the Colombian Armed Forces and National Police neutralized six high-ranking FARC leaders and persuaded 1,175 former terrorists to demobilize.

These were two of the government campaign highlights against terrorist groups in 2014, which were released recently by Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón.

Thanks to cooperative joint operations involving the Colombian Armed Forces, the National Police and the Judiciary, the country accomplished these and several other significant victories in the fight against violence in 2014, hence improving overall public safety in Colombia.

As a consequence of the Emergency Plan to combat urban crime, introduced by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in October 2014, there was also a reduction in non-violent common crime in 2014.

“The year 2014 became a year of actions and results in relation to security in Colombia,” Defense Minister Pinzón said during a January 8 press conference.

A bold new approach


The government’s new strategy to decrease the number of killings and assaults, as well as lesser offenses, calls on the Military and police to concentrate on combating micro-extortion, illegal mining, theft, and firearms trafficking, as well as battling violent criminal groups, such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The Emergency Plan was in effect for 90 days and was implemented by the Judiciary, together with the country’s security forces, in 111 cities that account for 82 percent of the country’s crimes: Medellín, Pereira, Ibagué, Pasto, Cali, Barranquilla, Cúcuta, Bucaramanga, Bogotá, Villavicencio and Neiva.

The new crime-fighting policy contributed to a reduced homicide rate of 27.8 per 100,000 inhabitants – the lowest rate in 34 years. In 2014, there were 10 mass killings, the lowest number since 2011. It was also a 58 percent reduction from the number of mass killings committed in 2013, according to the Office of the President.

Consequently, Santos decided to make the Emergency Plan a permanent policy in 2015.

This approach calls on the Military and police to tailor their approaches to specific regions.

“It’s about driving work that is based on planning a differentiated service that responds to the particular problems of each area,” according to comments by Patricia Bulla, a Security and Defense coordinator with nongovernmental organization Fundación Ideas para la Paz.

Understanding the "real causes" of delinquency is an important component of improving security, Bulla said.

Fighting criminal groups


The new strategy helped the Military and police make inroads against illegal groups, such as the FARC, the National Liberation Army (ELN), and criminal gangs (BACRIM).

For example, 82 percent of the 1,101 municipalities in the country did not register an effective presence by the FARC, compared to 77 percent in 2012. The effective presence of the ELN is even lower, with only four percent of the nation's municipalities reporting significant ELN operations. As for BACRIM, 86 percent of the country's municipalities reported they are free of gangs.

Security forces also made strong progress against FARC leaders, neutralizing six of them. Of these, three were killed, two were captured, and one demobilized, according to the Ministry of Defense. Security forces also captured 2,329 FARC members and killed another 250 in various operations.

Though the Military and police have been successful in weakening the FARC in recent years, security forces also made good progress against the ELN in 2014, neutralizing four of its leaders, capturing 537 -- an increase of 46 percent over the number arrested in 2013 -- and killing 46.

In all, 1,175 former members of the FARC and 170 ex-ELN operatives demobilized in 2014.

The high rate of demobilization reflects not only the success of the campaigns and the strong performance of the Armed Forces, but “it also shows the dissatisfaction, the mistreatment, and the violence perpetrated against the members of these organizations,” Pinzón said.

Large cocaine seizures


Cutting off the revenue streams that the FARC and other illegal groups rely on is a key component of the government's strategy to improve public safety.

“We’re working against all of the forms of financing criminal activities and delinquency: drug trafficking, criminal mining, smuggling, extortion,” Pinzón said.

Colombian security forces made important strides against drug trafficking in 2014, seizing 166 tons of cocaine, 349 kilograms of heroin, and 300 tons of marijuana. Law enforcement authorities also sprayed 55,500 hectares of illegal coca crops and eradicated 11,700 hectares that were used for illegal coca cultivation.

Security forces also confiscated 71.8 tons of explosives and disarmed 2,148 explosive devices.

Law enforcement authorities also scored important victories against illegal mining enterprises, seizing 739 kilograms of illegally mined gold and destroying 90 backhoes used by criminal groups.

The government will continue to do all it can in 2015 to improve public safety throughout Colombia.

“I would like this year [2015] to be one of reconciliation," Santos said in an official statement released January 16. "Differences must not be settled with bullets and fists, but through dialogue. This will also allow us to significantly decrease the homicides caused by intolerance among our fellow citizens."



In 2014, the Colombian Armed Forces and National Police neutralized six high-ranking FARC leaders and persuaded 1,175 former terrorists to demobilize.

These were two of the government campaign highlights against terrorist groups in 2014, which were released recently by Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón.

Thanks to cooperative joint operations involving the Colombian Armed Forces, the National Police and the Judiciary, the country accomplished these and several other significant victories in the fight against violence in 2014, hence improving overall public safety in Colombia.

As a consequence of the Emergency Plan to combat urban crime, introduced by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in October 2014, there was also a reduction in non-violent common crime in 2014.

“The year 2014 became a year of actions and results in relation to security in Colombia,” Defense Minister Pinzón said during a January 8 press conference.

A bold new approach


The government’s new strategy to decrease the number of killings and assaults, as well as lesser offenses, calls on the Military and police to concentrate on combating micro-extortion, illegal mining, theft, and firearms trafficking, as well as battling violent criminal groups, such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The Emergency Plan was in effect for 90 days and was implemented by the Judiciary, together with the country’s security forces, in 111 cities that account for 82 percent of the country’s crimes: Medellín, Pereira, Ibagué, Pasto, Cali, Barranquilla, Cúcuta, Bucaramanga, Bogotá, Villavicencio and Neiva.

The new crime-fighting policy contributed to a reduced homicide rate of 27.8 per 100,000 inhabitants – the lowest rate in 34 years. In 2014, there were 10 mass killings, the lowest number since 2011. It was also a 58 percent reduction from the number of mass killings committed in 2013, according to the Office of the President.

Consequently, Santos decided to make the Emergency Plan a permanent policy in 2015.

This approach calls on the Military and police to tailor their approaches to specific regions.

“It’s about driving work that is based on planning a differentiated service that responds to the particular problems of each area,” according to comments by Patricia Bulla, a Security and Defense coordinator with nongovernmental organization Fundación Ideas para la Paz.

Understanding the "real causes" of delinquency is an important component of improving security, Bulla said.

Fighting criminal groups


The new strategy helped the Military and police make inroads against illegal groups, such as the FARC, the National Liberation Army (ELN), and criminal gangs (BACRIM).

For example, 82 percent of the 1,101 municipalities in the country did not register an effective presence by the FARC, compared to 77 percent in 2012. The effective presence of the ELN is even lower, with only four percent of the nation's municipalities reporting significant ELN operations. As for BACRIM, 86 percent of the country's municipalities reported they are free of gangs.

Security forces also made strong progress against FARC leaders, neutralizing six of them. Of these, three were killed, two were captured, and one demobilized, according to the Ministry of Defense. Security forces also captured 2,329 FARC members and killed another 250 in various operations.

Though the Military and police have been successful in weakening the FARC in recent years, security forces also made good progress against the ELN in 2014, neutralizing four of its leaders, capturing 537 -- an increase of 46 percent over the number arrested in 2013 -- and killing 46.

In all, 1,175 former members of the FARC and 170 ex-ELN operatives demobilized in 2014.

The high rate of demobilization reflects not only the success of the campaigns and the strong performance of the Armed Forces, but “it also shows the dissatisfaction, the mistreatment, and the violence perpetrated against the members of these organizations,” Pinzón said.

Large cocaine seizures


Cutting off the revenue streams that the FARC and other illegal groups rely on is a key component of the government's strategy to improve public safety.

“We’re working against all of the forms of financing criminal activities and delinquency: drug trafficking, criminal mining, smuggling, extortion,” Pinzón said.

Colombian security forces made important strides against drug trafficking in 2014, seizing 166 tons of cocaine, 349 kilograms of heroin, and 300 tons of marijuana. Law enforcement authorities also sprayed 55,500 hectares of illegal coca crops and eradicated 11,700 hectares that were used for illegal coca cultivation.

Security forces also confiscated 71.8 tons of explosives and disarmed 2,148 explosive devices.

Law enforcement authorities also scored important victories against illegal mining enterprises, seizing 739 kilograms of illegally mined gold and destroying 90 backhoes used by criminal groups.

The government will continue to do all it can in 2015 to improve public safety throughout Colombia.

“I would like this year [2015] to be one of reconciliation," Santos said in an official statement released January 16. "Differences must not be settled with bullets and fists, but through dialogue. This will also allow us to significantly decrease the homicides caused by intolerance among our fellow citizens."
Very good news Please mention when this happened. When it happened is neither admitted nor verified. thanks to these men and women who belong to our honorific army the country has a different face now what's lacking is more decision making by the government This is what we need in our Colombian territory, peace, security and tranquility.

And I hope that whoever wants to sleep in the parks, gardens and terraced land as we did as children when we played house in our beautiful villages of that period and watch the sunsets when we’d fall asleep looking at the stars

An observation for our government, don’t destroy what’s seized from the guerrilla fighters criminal gangs or illegal miners, leave it the way it’s done with asset seizures for the country’s use.
I’m making this comment because of the articles issued by the Ministry of Defense today, March 5, in the morning The soldiers and police should be collaborators when the military action is reduced in all the activities required by the communities in the country for the well being of the country
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