Had we not been in an armed conflict we’d all be going to jail: Santos

President Juan Manuel Santos said Saturday that if Colombia wasn’t facing an armed conflict he, former President Alvaro Uribe and the military top would all be going to jail.

Santos’ remark is the latest in a number of snides between the current and the former president who disagree on the formulation to be used for the government’s fight with illegal armed groups like the FARC.

The president recently said Colombia is facing an “armed conflict” rather than a “terrorist threat,” which led to anger of his predecessor, who accuses Santos of taking steps toward accepting groups like the FARC and ELN — determined terrorist groups by the U.S. and the European Union — as belligerent forces, which could force Colombia into holding peace talks according to international law.

Santos reasoned in the Pacific port city of Buenaventura that by using his terminology the armed forces have more means to use violence against armed groups.

“I want you to understand that if we say there is no armed conflict the capacity of the operations of the armed forces is being restricted,” Santos said, adding that “we’d all end up in [Bogota jail] La Picota” referring to himself, Uribe and the top military commanders for bombing civilians that are part of insurgent groups.

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