In a special security meeting, Santos downplayed the recent increase in guerrilla attacks saying they are “harassments rather than massive attacks” as carried out by the guerrillas a decade ago.
According to the president, the attacks are the guerrillas’ response to territorial gains made by the armed forces in the heartland of the FARC.
For the first time state troops have penetrated the heartland of the insurgents and are pushing the guerrillas away from their safe havens, said Santos.
The president called on the armed forces to “persevere” as “we are seeing a shift in these areas that are strategic for the guerrillas.”
“For the first time we are seeing our forces displacing the guerrillas from these bases they have used so long and which has prompted action; the attacks that have been place are harassments rather than massive attacks,” the Santos continued.
The attacks in Cauca follow a steady increase in deployment of special forces in the Andes mountain range in the south of the neighboring Tolima department where the FARC was founded and from where the guerrilla group is thought to be coordinated.
The guerrillas’ hit-and-run attacks in Cauca and other southern departments, combined with soaring murder rates in the southeast and north of the country forced Santos to replace his defense minister and completely turn military command around.