Colombia Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera on Tuesday denied that the country is experiencing an escalation of violence from leftist guerrillas of the FARC and ELN.
“In none of the fronts are we lowering our guard, what we’re seeing is that we are paying a high price with the lives of our police to protect the people, but we are winning with regard to reducing crime that affects people.” said Rivera in an interview with Caracol Radio.
Rivera claimed that Colombia is actually experiencing a drop in crime. He said that the first five weeks of President Juan Manuel Santos’ term, which began August 7, have seen a 5% reduction in “high impact crime” as compared to the first five weeks of 2010.
“We will not allow the security situation to worsen,” Rivera said.
In a response, Colombian Congress President Armando Benedetti said that no one was satisfied with Rivera’s explanations on security. He said he does not blame the defense minister for the current situation, but that the people of Colombia are waiting for security measures to improve conditions across the country.