Colombia will create a Border Control System to prevent illegal armed groups and drug traffickers moving into neighboring countries.
According to President Juan Manuel Santos, this system will help the troubled border regions to be “converted into zones of peace and progress.”
“Illegal groups, persecuted by the security forces, have fled to the borders to avoid the law, and as the state we are committed to bring security and social progress to these border regions that have often been left behind in development compared to the central regions,” Santos said Wednesday.
The president promised a permanent presence of security forces in the different regions, but also a drive in social programs.
According to Santos, he has “seen the gratitude of the people regarding the integrated action of security forces and state institutions to deliver more and better social services and infrastructure” in regions where army and police consolidated state control, while state institutions developed social programs for the local communities.
Following the consolidation of economically important regions in the country during the two administrations of former President Alvaro Uribe (2002 – 2008), Colombian rebel groups were forced into the jungle and regions bordering neighboring countries like Venezuela, Brazil, and Ecuador. Former paramilitary groups and drug traffickers are present in the border regions to smuggle Colombian-made drugs to the neighboring countries and via the Pacific Ocean.