New Colombian Military High Command Named To Serve Under President Santos
By Dialogo July 28, 2010
Outgoing Colombian president Álvaro Uribe’s administration announced the new
armed forces high command that will serve under Juan Manuel Santos, who takes office
on 7 August.
Adm. Édgar Cely was designated as the new commander of the armed forces (the
highest position within the armed forces), replacing Army Gen. Freddy Padilla, who
submitted his resignation in May, effective 7 August.
Cely, fifty-eight years old, has wide experience in military strategy, since
he was one of the military personnel who created Task Force Omega, an elite force
specialized in fighting leftist guerrilla groups in the country’s
With graduate studies in security and national defense, in addition to a
specialization in international relations and humanitarian law, Cely has been head
of operations for the National Navy, director of the War College, and naval attaché
at the Colombian embassy in Great Britain.
The defense minister, Gabriel Silva, also announced that Gen. Alejandro Navas
has been named the new commander of the Army, Adm. Álvaro Echandía will be the new
commander of the National Navy, and Maj. Gen. Julio Alberto Gonzáles will be the
commander of the Air Force.
At the same time, Gen. Oscar Naranjo was confirmed as the national director
of the police.
The new military high command is well known to Santos, who was defense
minister for two years, until May of last year, when he gave up the position in
order to launch his presidential campaign.