Colombia’s PNC and Armed Forces reduce killings with strong initiatives

first_img Colombian security forces have made great progress in reducing the rate of homicides in the country. Authorities reported there were 14,732 homicides in Colombia in 2013, a decrease of about nine percent from the 2012 total. Violence is much lower than it was in the 1990s and early 2000s. For example, the country recorded 22,526 killings in 2003. Security forces have reduced the violence by cracking down on organized crime groups, which committed most of the violence in some of the country’s major cities. Improving the training and professionalization of the country’s police forces has been the key to curbing the violence, said Gen. Oscar Naranjo, the former chief of Colombia’s National Police (PNC). Naranjo discussed the security strategy during a seminar on the best ways to fight violence, which took place in Mexico in September 2013. “What is the secret to decreasing violence?” Naranjo asked the audience. “The professionalization of the police.” In 2012, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto hired Naranjo to work as an adviser on security issues. Naranjo left his post in January and said he would return to Colombia. By Dialogo August 15, 2014 In August 2013, the PNC conducted a three-day security initiative known as “Fast.” During a period of three days, the PNC arrested 1,664 suspects for various crimes, such as drug trafficking, robbery, and other criminal offenses. Most of the suspects – 1,328 – were captured while allegedly committing a crime. PNC agents captured another 336 suspects who were wanted for previous crimes. Security forces also seized one ton of cocaine, three tons of marijuana, 181 firearms, and 8,975 sharp weapons. PNC agents also recovered 60 cars and 97 motorcycles which had been reported stolen. Colombian security forces are strategically targeting criminal gangs, said José Antonio Ortega of the Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice. “For this reason, the incidence of murder, kidnappings, and of course, drug production has decreased,” he said. In the 1990s, Colombian security forces struck strong blows against the Cali and Medellin cartels, effectively dismantling them. The demise of those drug trafficking organizations did not mean the end of organized crime in Colombia. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a terrorist group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), Los Rastrojos, el Clan Úsuga’, paramilitary forces and other groups, and the BACRIM continued to engage in drug trafficking, extortion, and other criminal enterprises. In recent years, the PNC and the Armed Forces have launched a series of security initiatives which have dealt strong blows to organized crime groups and improved security: • The PNC and the Armed Forces are emphasizing the gathering and use of intelligence on organized crime groups and gangs. • Security forces have improved their training and equipment. •The PNC and Armed Forces have forged stronger ties to the civilian population, which security forces rely on for information about the activities and whereabouts of criminals. • The PNC is using social media to connect with the public and improve public safety. The PNC has a significant presence on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest and YouTube. The PNC has more than one million followers on different social media platforms. The PNC uses social media to spread information about how to avoid robberies, extortions, and other crimes. Through social media platforms, the PNC also distributes information about community-based crime prevention programs, and provides the public with phone numbers that the civilian population can use to report crimes and provide information on suspects. The community is responding by providing the PNC more information to solve crime and find stolen items. center_img Security initiative Strong blows against organized crimelast_img

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