“Here in Nariño there are 17 municipalities that will have free housing, we are very pleased because we know the housing shortage that this department has,” said Santos at the ceremony. Nariño is one of the departments that has been most affected by the conflict between the FARC guerrillas and the government and is plagued by drug trafficking-related violence.
According to the president the houses, which will have internet connection, will be ready in August and Santos was at pains to insist that not a penny would be paid to the contractors until the houses were finished: “so you are encouraged to deliver ‘Mr. Constructor’ as quickly as possible.”
“All this is for the children of Ipiales so they have the opportunity to discover the world of technology and will be able to better educate themselves and will have better opportunities, be better prepared for tomorrow and have better employment,” said the president.
The Colombian head of state also asked the governor of Nariño, Raul Delgado, to begin looking for places to relocate the current military base in the municipality of Ipiales. The President said he plans to construct another free housing community on the site of the base after it is relocated.