Former Defense Minister Camilo Ospina said it is a “given fact” that Colombia’s security has deteriorated over the past months.
The former minister of defense referred to the recent violence in the Cauca department as an “extremely serious situation.”
“One should be extremely concerned about these facts that we have not seen in many years,” Ospina , told newspaper El Espectador Friday.
“Ultimately, people do not think in terms of security in terms of what happens to themselves, but what they perceive…is a level of fear that is currently being generated to a point of deteriorating security.”
Colombia’s current Minister of Defense Rodrigo Rivera Salazar recognized the presence of FARC in “68 of the country’s towns,” but remains optimistic about the situation in the Cauca department.
Despite recent FARC related attacks in the department of Cauca, Salazar stressed his satisfaction with the process by stating that “a story of frustration has become a success story.”
Salazar’s comments refer to the recent increase in security and armed forces presence in the Tolima department to capture supreme FARC leader “Alfonso Cano.”
The current minister of defense said the recent attacks in Toribio and five other towns in the Cauca department were a response to the strong military offensive against Cano. He added that operations continue in this area in order to prevent the guerrillas from sowing terror in the department.
Salazar also accused the FARC of attacking non-military targets.”They are attacking the peasants and for years did not do this. [The FARC] are feeling pressured by the pursuit” of supreme leader Alfonso Cano, and “they needed to relieve this pressure.”
Salazar also announced that operations will soon begin with the recently deployed High Mountain Battalion in the Cauca department.