Colombian armed forces commander General Freddy Padilla said Tuesday that FARC numbers have sharply declined in recent years, in response to a Red Cross warning that the guerrilla group are strengthening, reported El Espectador.
“The armed forces do not refute the findings [of the Red Cross] and we are respectful of them, but what Colombians have to remember is that the FARC … [now] has only 8,000 men,” said Padilla.
“In 1998 the armed forces were powerless against the FARC, and in the year 2002 the guerrillas had 26,000 men not including militia, while this year the number has fallen to 8,000,” added the general.
Speaking to Todelar Radio, Uribe said that although the security situation in the country had improved over the last eight years, the current policies needed to remain in place because the guerilla groups “are not going to resign.”
“The country needs to maintain strength in the security policy so that we can ensure security, peace and prosperity for future generations,” Uribe said.
The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) released a report on Monday saying that the armed conflict in Colombia was not over, but had rather been pushed to rural areas and that the FARC still remain a threat.
The ICRC recorded 800 violations of international human rights law in Colombia in the last year. This figure includes 28 murders, 61 attacks on civilians, and 84 disappearances which are thought to be linked to the ongoing conflict.