The Colombian military has announced plans to adjust its strategy to counter guerrilla attacks, stating that the FARC and ELN have improved their capacity to blend into civilian populations.
By the end of May, the government and the military will set forth new strategies to combat a change in tactics by the two guerrilla organizations, who reportedly have been perpetrating a greater number of attacks, but of less magnitude, Caracol Radio reported Wednesday.
According the the army, guerrillas embedded in civilian groups have been committing attacks involving a small number of gunmen, who can then retreat into the mass of civilians.
The Ministry of Defense hinted that the new initiative will also have a positive social impact on populations that are infiltrated by rebel groups. In an attempt to halt the growth of relationships between civilian populations and guerrillas, the government plans to bring new health care policies and state programs to rural communities that feel abandoned by the government.
To date, the majority of the civilian populations with the strongest rebel ties are those that are ignored by the national government.
The push for better results from military forces fighting the guerrilla organizations comes days after recently-replaced Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Gustavo Matamoros, admitted a “notorious” drop in the effectiveness of the armed forces.