Police Director, Leader of Anti-Drug Fight in Colombia, Resigns

By Dialogo
April 23, 2012

The director of the Colombian police, Óscar Naranjo, resigned on April 19, after five years in a key post for the fight against drug trafficking, President Juan Manuel Santos, who praised the agent’s career, announced.

“You’ve won the respect of all the nations that are fighting against crime, against drug trafficking (…) you’re leaving behind a police force that is producing results every day,” Santos congratulated Naranjo during a joint press appearance.

Naranjo was appointed by former president Álvaro Uribe (2002-2010). “It’s a normal transition in the context of something that was entirely expected,” affirmed Santos, who explained that Naranjo did not want to remain in his post for more than five years.

The police general will continue as director until July. The name of his replacement has not yet been announced.

In his remarks, Naranjo limited himself to recognizing the work done by the current Colombian administration and the police force.

Santos praised the departing director’s efforts, stressing that Colombia is currently reporting its lowest rate of violent deaths in the last 27 years, with 31 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2011.

The president also highlighted the successes achieved by his security forces in reducing coca cultivation, arresting drug traffickers, and striking blows against the FARC guerrilla group.

Naranjo was named police director in 2007, when Santos was in charge of the Defense Ministry, which includes the police under its umbrella, and in 2011, he also became director of the Police Community of the Americas (AMERIPOL).
In the course of his career, Naranjo also led the police intelligence directorate and participated in the dismantling of the large drug cartels in the 1990s.