NGO criticism on Colombia ‘unbalanced’: Armed Forces commander

The commander of the Armed Forces on Monday criticized non-governmental organizations’ (NGOs) “unbalanced” evaluations of the Colombian armed conflict.

Admiral Edgar Cely told Caracol Radio that NGOs are unfairly judging the Armed Forces without also criticizing atrocities committed by guerrillas.

“What bothers me is that there is not a balance, you have to accept the criticism if there are excesses, we have accepted it. But when there is the onslaught of criminal acts, like we have been seeing, tell me what value they are defending by not condemning them.”

He said that he is not rejecting NGOs’ criticism of the Armed Forces, but that the criticism should be balanced.

Cely added that the military is not going to “employ a scorched earth strategy and they are not going to violate houses in northern Cauca” where the army and guerrillas are involved in heavy combat. The official maintained that his troops are respecting human rights in their fight against the FARC in the region, while the FARC’s 6th Front is hiding behind the people and children of Cauca.

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