Colombian Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera announced Tuesday that the Colombian government is preparing a dossier on recent attacks perpetrated by FARC and ELN guerrillas to be presented to the United Nations (UN).
“We are putting together a dossier on the atrocities that the FARC and ELN are committing in order to attack the firm willingness for national unity that we Colombians are building around the dream of prosperity,” Rivera said.
“We believe in our justice system, we don’t need anyone to exercise justice for us, but this political complaint will go before the UN and the international community so that there is universal condemnation of these terrorist attacks,” the defense minster continued.
Rivera said that FARC attacks are part of a political strategy to sow fear and make citizens lose faith in the Colombian government’s “democratic security” policy.
The defense minister cited last week’s Caqueta attack in which 14 policemen were killed as an example of “a small number of crazed terrorists strategically committing atrocities to try to slow the momentum of military efforts.” The policemen were killed when their patrol vehicle went over a land mine. Guerrillas shot and burned to death those injured in the blast.
Rivera said in an interview with W Radio Tuesday that while the recent spate of attacks “show that we can not drop our guard and shout victory” it is important to remember that “the soldiers are not dying in vain and thanks to them and what they do in rural parts [of the country], there is more security in the cities.”
He said that if policemen and soldiers were simply sitting in their barracks, citizens “would be exposed to extortion, kidnapping” and acts of terrorism.
Instead, Rivera said “we are on the offensive and we are protecting the civilian population and our men lose their lives protecting citizens.”
Following an attack in Colombia’s southern Nariño department early Tuesday morning in which at least three policemen lost their lives, the number of members of the armed forces killed in guerrilla attacks in less than a week rose to 27.
Five soldiers were also killed in separate clashes Thursday with FARC guerrillas in the Norte de Santander and Nariño departments, on the borders with Venezuela and Ecuador respectively.
Following the spate of attacks, the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos has categorically ruled out peace talks with Colombian rebel organizations. Santos took office August 7 amid FARC peace overtures after eight years of rebel losses under former president Alvaro Uribe‘s hardline anti-insurgent policies.