Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos has ordered the command of his armed forces to “neutralize” commanders of rebel group FARC and to reinforce their offensive in the southeastern parts of the country, according to local media.
“Today we are taking an important step in the whole reorganization of our forces in order to be more effective, and to be stronger in our mission to provide security and peace for all Colombians,” said the President at a military base on Wednesday afternoon.
Santos ordered his Southeast Joint Command – consisting of 50,000 troops across several divisions of Colombia’s armed forces – to capture or kill the FARC commanders known as “Carlos Antonio Lozada,” “Romana,” “Fabian Ramirez,” “El Paisa,” and “Joaquin Gomez.” Furthermore, the Joint Command is tasked with suppressing the Southern and Eastern blocs of the FARC.
The President announced on twitter that Colombia had activated their troops and that he was proud of the joint efforts for the security of Colombians.
Activamos el Comando Conjunto Sur Oriente Número 3 en Larandia, Caquetá. Orgullosos de sumar esfuerzos por la seguridad de los colombianos.
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) October 9, 2013
This announcement comes after Santos reported supposed FARC plans to attack military and symbolic sites in the country. There are also reports that the FARC will try to infiltrate social protests to fuel conflict.
Peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARC have been running since November 2012. So far the two parties have only made an agreement on land reform, the first point on the five-point agenda.