Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Saturday announced a “relaunch” of the “Democratic Security” policy to counter a wave of guerrilla attacks against the security forces in the south and east of the country and violence committed by neo-paramilitary groups and drug gangs in the north.
The Democratic Security policy was created by Santos predecessor Alvaro Uribe and designed to push leftist guerrilla groups away from the cities and economically important areas, create investor confidence and improve the economy.
Santos’ “relaunch” of this policy includes a focus on the violence caused by drug gangs, local gangs and paramilitary groups that emerged from the remnants of the AUC, the national paramilitary organization that officially demobilized under Uribe.
“The Minister of Defense Rodrigo Rivera, the military and police top and the (presidential development) office of Accion Social are preparing a document to relaunch, as a priority policy of the government and plans to consolidate democratic security,” Santos said.
Earlier, Santos appointed former deputy Defense Minister Sergio Jaramillo as High Security Adviser to assist the Defense, Foreign Affairs and Interior and Justice Ministries in fighting the leftist insurgency.
Since Santos’ inauguration, attacks by guerrilla groups FARC and ELN left dozens of soldiers and policemen dead, while violence committed by neo-paramilitary gangs, urban militias and drug gangs left thousands dead since the official demobilization of the AUC.