• World - South America
  • Updated: October 10, 2022

Colombia: Security Forces To Keep Fighting Drugs, Criminal Gangs

Colombia's security forces will keep up their offensive against drug traffickers and illegal armed groups, Defense Minister Ivan Velasquez told Reuters.

The country’s President Gustavo Petro, who took office in August as Colombia's first left-wing president, has outlined plans to advance negotiations with guerrilla groups such as the National Liberation Army (ELN) and two dissident factions of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) who rejected a 2016 peace deal with the government.

Drug traffickers and criminal gangs involved in cocaine production and trafficking could receive benefits such as reduced prison sentences for submitting themselves to justice, sharing details about trafficking routes and turning over their fortunes.

Velasquez said; "The armed forces and the national police continue to maintain their presence and operations, there have been no moves to the contrary.”

Members of illegal armed groups will face legal consequences if they do not comply with the conditions of the government's "total peace" plan after they sign up, Velasquez said.

Colombia's government is also working on a plan for farmers to voluntarily eradicate crops of coca – the main ingredient in cocaine – for new crops, as well as investment in infrastructure, education and health.

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Quadri Adejumo
Quadri Adejumo

Quadri Adejumo covers World Health, Climate & Humanitarian. He's on Twitter as quadri_flash. ...

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