Colombian President Alvaro Uribe ordered
Saturday the militarization of some neighborhoods in Neiva, capital
of the Huila department, hours after a bomb exploded and destroyed a
hardware store and several other businesses nearby.
Uribe told commanders of the army and police to establish a
greater presence, particularly in the so-called Diez commune of that
city, where informers have reported that guerrillas of the
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, are operating.
“It can’t go on that there’s a bomb every month. The army and
police in Neiva have to find a definitive solution. From today on we
must begin a militarization and a massive police presence in the
communities of Neiva and Diez,” Uribe said.
The explosion took place Saturday before dawn and wounded one person,
destroyed a hardware store and damaged several stores in
The president said that “according to informants, there is an
enormous plague of FARC rebels” in the Diez commune, and said that
it is necessary “to capture them without delay.”
Uribe gave the order to militarize those districts of Neiva
during a council meeting in the town of Chaparral in the southern
province of Tolima.
Uribe also gave a warning to the FARC’s top leader, “Alfonso
Cano,” the alias of Guillermo Leon Saenz, and invited the guerrillas
of that organization to lay down their arms.
“So don’t dream, Alfonso Cano, that you’re going to play around
with Colombia,” Uribe warned.
According to the president, “Cano is a little celebrity to the
international press, who will be caught by the armed forces and
police just like the group’s other ringleaders.”
Uribe continued, stating, “No doubt that while we’re closing in on him, he’ll go on posing
like a little celebrity for the international press. But we’ll get
that bandit too.” (Efe)