Colombian Defense Minister denounces «omissions» of the Army against paramilitaries

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Archive – Colombian Minister of Defense Iván Velásquez – CHEPA BELTRAN / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

Colombian Defense Minister Iván Velásquez has warned of the omissions of the Armed Forces in the face of paramilitary incursions or the creation of new militias of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) in the Pacific region.

«We could not say of links, but at least of omissive actions of the Armed Forces that are being attributed in some regions», said Velásquez, according to Caracol Radio.

«They have to make a permanent demonstration of their capacity, of their effectiveness and efficiency in dismantling these organizations. In no case can they be attributed with omissive conducts that are increasing their operational capacity», added the minister.

Velásquez has conveyed the issue to the commander of the Armed Forces, General Helder Giraldo, and stressed that the National Commission of Guarantees and Security has been reactivated in view of the increase in murders of social leaders, human rights defenders and signatories of the peace agreements with the FARC.

On the other hand, regarding Senator Aida Quilcué’s denunciation of an incursion of more than 1,000 heavily armed men in the indigenous reservation of Chimborazo, Cauca, Velásquez stressed that it is a challenge for the Public Forces to prevent such events from happening again.

«When events such as those denounced by the senator occur, that is the challenge for the security forces to prevent their repetition, to dismantle the organizations and to put pressure so that, through military means or political and legal negotiation, these organizations can be dismantled,» he said.