Colombia’s defense minister on Wednesday claimed that over 10,000 members of illegal armed groups were arrested, killed or demobilized by the country’s security forces in 2010.
According to Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera 8,145 members of illegal armed groups were killed or arrested, while another 2,271 voluntarily demobilized.
The minister called on the security forces to intensify their efforts against illegal armed groups.
“It is clear to the world that fighting the FARC and ELN is fighting drug trafficking. To intensify [efforts] against drug trafficking is to intensify [efforts] against the FARC and ELN,” Rivera added.
The defense minister’s speech came at the same day as the annual report of left-leaning think tank Nuevo Arco Iris, which reported that the FARC has 11,000 members instead of the official number of 7,000 and that guerrilla groups like the FARC and ELN may end the year having either killed or wounded 2,500 members of the security forces.