One hundred days after the earthquake that devastated Haiti, the commander of Colombia’s armed forces, General Freddy Padilla, on Tuesday honored the service members who provided aid to the disaster-torn nation, reported El Espectador.
At a ceremony held in the coastal city of Cartagena, Padilla addressed members of the army, navy and air force and congratulated them for their actions in Haiti, both in carrying out rescue missions and delivering humanitarian aid.
“Colombia was the first Latin American country to make an effective presence on the island. Presence was only possible thanks to the commitment, dedication and sacrifice that have historically characterized the soldiers on land, sea and air, the government of Colombia and the generosity and solidarity of the Colombian people,” said the general.
Padilla expressed his pride in Colombia’s rapid response to the catastrophe and the effectiveness of the aid delivered.
“Barely 24 hours had passed after Haiti’s earthquake, considered one of the biggest natural disasters in recent times, and already Colombia’s armed forces had dispatched humanitarian aid to alleviate the plight of the inhabitants of this Caribbean island,” said the officer.
“In all cases, soldiers, naval and air military forces were able to overcome the obstacles that came their way, with courage, skill and good imagination.”
Colombia has provided Haiti with a total 1,235 tons of humanitarian aid, including food, blankets, drinking water, gasoline and building materials, since the disaster struck in January and performed some 48,000 medical procedures.
Padilla stressed how important it is that the aid does not stop and that the armed forces continue to support the earthquake-torn island.