Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos announced on Monday that 240 policemen have been murdered by illegal armed groups in the country so far this year.
“We have lost many men. Actually, I believe that this year 240 were assassinated … Too many, one is too many,” Santos said at an event of the National Police.
“The criminal groups, the terrorist groups that are increasingly cornered turn to cowardly tactics like the [alleged FARC] ‘pistol plan.’ How easy it is to tie up an unsuspecting policemen and kill him and how easy is it to throw a grenade at on from a motorcycle,” Santos said.
Another 120 policemen died “in traffic accidents and through illness,” the president added.
Santos’ numbers differ greatly from non-governmental analysts quoted by Spanish news agency Efe over the weekend.According to Jorge Restrepo, conflict analyst for the Resource Center for Conflict Analysis (Cerac) estimates that by the end of the year “about a thousand” policemen and soldiers will have been killed by guerrillas. Left-leaning think-tank Corporacion Nuevo Arco Iris (New Rainbow Foundation) stated recently that nearly 2,000 members of the security forces were either killed or wounded so far this year.