The United States’ Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) named Colombia’s national police commissioner Oscar Naranjo a honorary special agent.
The special ceremony took place in Orlando, Florida, where the annual conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police took place.
The Colombian police head received a medal and a badge from the DEA Acting Administrator Michele Leonhart.
“Never have we felt so close to another person as with General Naranjo, who for more than 30 years has been a partner who we appreciate very much and is the only person we could elect to receive this symbolic appointment of honorary special agent of the DEA,” Leonhart told Spanish news agency EFE.
The honorary title is an expression of “our greatest appreciation, gratitude and respect for general Naranjo,” the DEA acting administrator added.
In a response, Naranjo said he accepted the honor in the name of the Colombian people.
“It’s a recognition that I accept particularly on behalf of the 170,000 Colombian policemen and women,” Naranjo told EFE.
“I also receive it in the name of my government, the police officers who over the years have sacrificed their lives. I receive it in the name of my 13 police officers who continue to be kept hostage in the depths of the jungle and I receive it in the name of the Colombian people who have given us their support and trust to help us move forward in the fulfilling of our duty,” the police chief added.
Naranjo, who has been the highest ranked police officer in Colombia since 2007, received the honorary title a day after he was awarded Police Officer of the Year by the IACP.