The effectiveness of Colombia’s armed forces has “notoriously” dropped, the recently replaced head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the armed forces told media Wednesday.
“As a soldier I accept having been part of the cause of this notorious drop in effectiveness the armed forces have seen in the past month,” retired General Gustavo Matamoros said at a press conference.
Matamoros was replaced last Thursday amid speculation that rifts within the armed forces, particularly between himself and Admiral Edgar Cely, had eventually led to him being pushed out.
However Matamoros said that his early retirement comes amid internal investigations into irregularities within the armed forces, without wanting to tell reporters what irregularities he was referring to.
Instead, the former military official publicly called on Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera to make these irregularities public.
Matamoros’ retirement follows months of heavy criticism of Rivera who has been accused by political followers of former President Alvaro Uribe of neglecting the security situation in the country as groups that emerged from demobilized paramilitary organization and the defunct Norte del Valle drugs cartel are wreaking havoc in the north and west of Colombia and the FARC seemingly has increased its attacks on public forces and towns in the south west of the country.