U.S. ambassador William Brownfield on Friday expressed his support for the NGO that published a critical report on the progress of President Alvaro Uribe‘s Democratic Security’ policy after the President accused the NGO of “always trying to desorientate the country.”
Uribe lashed out at the NGO on Thursday following a report wherein NGO Nuevo Arco Iris warned the security policy of Alvaro Uribe is failing as the FARC is on a rebound and paramilitary violence continues to sow terror among the population.
The President and his Defense Minister, Gabriel Silva, expressed their disagreement with the report and accused the study group of “always trying to disorientate the country … with reports that do not correspond to the truth,” Uribe was quoted by Associated Press.
Silva told reporters that “without doubt we must do more for public safety, we must do more to stand firm against criminal gangs, but the extistence of crime does not mean the policy has been a failure.”
Nuevo Arco Iris director Leon Valencia, sides by U.S. ambassador William Brownfield, reputed the President’s accusations, claiming “the government rejects the report, but I don’t think it read it.”
Brownfield, who had met with Nuevo Arco Iris representatives, said, although he did not always agree with the NGO’s conclusions, he supported the work of Nuevo Arco Iris and claimed study groups like this are necessary for the functioning of a democratic society.
“There is no policy that can not be improved. We support a democratic government, but must keep an eye on possible improvements. NGOs have something to add to the politics of a country,” said at the press conference.
According to a study by the NGO, activities of guerrilla organizations such as the FARC as well as those of paramilitary groups have seen a pick up in 2009, although the statistics have not been assessed.
This pick up seems to demonstrate that there is a serious stagnation of the “Democratic Security” policy, implemented by Uribe since his inauguration in 2002.
The policy was an agreement between the Colombian government and illegal armed groups in which members of the groups were required to demobilize and in exchange they would not be extradited for their crimes.
But the NGO claims that currently ” the Democratic Security government has no policy with which to address the problem of the growth of groups that have emerged since the demobilization of the AUC paramilitaries as well as the AUC’s increasing influence in illegal activities”.
In its report, Nuevo Arco Iris said Uribe’s security policy had reached the limit of effectiveness and, backed by official figures, showed an increase of guerrilla violence and control in parts of the country and the increase of paramilitary and drug related violence in the cities.