Colombia’s top police chief was caught on tape bashing regional commanders for not doing their job, stating that it is “no wonder the people miss [former President Alvaro] Uribe this much.”
The transcription of the audio recording was leaked to radio station La FM, which published transcripts of the teleconference between National Police Director Jose Roberto Leon and regional commanders on its website.
“No wonder the people miss President Uribe this much. [When] President Uribe [was in office] a kidnapping would take place and the commanding officer would be on the site of the kidnapping, directing rescue operations. If there was a roadblock it was unblocked within the hour. Roadblocks were not allowed. Not today. Today there’s blocks on all sides and we wait and we wait and the block escalates and escalates more and then it becomes very hard to solve. It becomes too big for us so to speak. This has happened to us repeatedly to then [say something like] ‘no, let’s wait out the strike to see where we have failed’,” the top police commander reportedly said.
Leon called on police to pay attention to current President Juan Manuel Santos like they did with Uribe.
“You heard the president. Pay attention to what he says in regards to these strikes, pay attention to Intelligence and foresee these strikes, because look, the strikes are escalating [and] you do nothing.”
The undated speech comes at a time of strong social unrest in the northeast of the country where local farmed blocked roads and have clashed with police, leaving at least two dead and 18 injured.
The farmers’ protests in the northeast resemble that of coffee farmers who massively took to the streets earlier this year and disrupted public order in large parts of the country.