Minister of National Defense, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, announced to the public the main activities of the defense Sector during the 2 years of Government of President Ivan Duque in matters of security and law and order.
In these 2 Years, Defense and security policies and citizen coexistence and security were issued and implemented, which give tools to the Military Forces to fight organized crime and instability factors, as well as to protect Colombians and our biodiversity, water and environment. The implementation of these policies and the selfless work of the Military Forces have led to the following results:
In 2019, the homicide rate decreased compared to 2018 from 25.9 homicides in 100,000 inhabitants to 25.7. Since 1976, it is the third lowest rate reported. The first and second lowest rates are 2017 and 2016, respectively.
This reduction continues in 2020, between 1 January and 30 July, a 12% decrease in homicides has been achieved, which means 915 fewer cases than in the same period of 2019.
Regarding personal injuries, there has been a 38% reduction during this year, that is, 27,499 fewer cases than in the same period of 2019.
I would in the same way like to highlight the work of the Gaula of the police and the military forces. In 2019, kidnapping had the lowest rates in history with 92 cases. It is the lowest number of kidnappings since 1984 and the first time it is below 100 cases nationwide.
This year we hope to continue this downward trend, as kidnapping shows a reduction of 27% compared to the same period last year.
Some of the crimes that have in the same way decreased in 2020 we have extortion, with a reduction of 30 per cent by 30 July 2020. Theft in all its forms has also decreased, because this year we have: 34% fewer cases of theft of people; a 38% reduction of theft of homes; 43% reduction of theft of Commerce; 29% reduction of theft of cars and 35% reduction of theft of motorcycles.
The work of the Military Forces has been vital to the protection of the country's critical infrastructure, reversing the growing trend.
In fact, in 2019, a decrease of 34% was reported in the cases of blasting of pipelines, going from 107 to 71, and of 100% in the blasting of energy towers, going from 12 cases to 0. There was in the same way a 17 per cent decrease in cases of road and bridge blowing-up, from 6 cases to 5.
This year there has been a 35% decrease in cases of pipeline blasting, going from 48 to 31.
The operation of military has in the same way been vital in the fight against organized crime. 117 ringleaders of organized armed groups and organized crime groups have been neutralized since the beginning of the government, including: alias Mono Clinton, Elefante, Gallero and Culebrito of the ELN; Guacho, Korea, Contador, Rodrigo Cadete and Ariel of the residual Gao; alias Puntilla Du Los Puntilleros; alias Pácora and Pepe of Los Pelusos, among others.
Work against criminal organizations has in the same way focused on those that threaten and murder our social leaders. For this reason, the perpetrators of these crimes have been made visible and the reward for information leading to their capture has been raised, with the issuance of the Most Wanted list, consisting of 31 people, 14 of whom have been captured and 3 more neutralized.
The same operation has been carried out with the list of the most wanted for threats and murders of former Farc members, published in January this year, which includes 30 individuals, four of whom have been captured, two neutralized and one dead.
I want to take this opportunity to announce to Colombians that in a work of the Elite Corps of the National Police and the Special Investigation Unit of the Attorney General's office in the Department of Cauca, we captured alias Veneno, alias Lucho, alias Nini and alias Cristian, who were wanted for the crimes of aggravated homicide, illegal carrying of firearms and conspiracy for aggravated conspiracy.
According to the investigation, these people would be the brains and perpetrators of the murder of Alvaro Narváez, president of the Municipal action Board of the village El Vado de Mercaderes, in Cauca, as well as his wife, son and granddaughter, in events that occurred in April.
One of the challenges faced by this government was to revive the fight against drug trafficking and curb the exponential increase in illicit plantations in the country.
The United Nations SIMCI report in 2019 confirms this, we managed to reverse this trend and last year the country had 9% less hectares cultivated with coca.
This is due to the commitment of the Government of President Ivan Duque to increase resources to hire Mobile eradication groups, which went from 23 in August 2018 to 196 in March this year.
This led to the eradication of 101,273 hectares of illicit plantations in 2019, 94,670 of them by the Military Forces. In 2020, in July 30, we have eradicated 54,059 hectares.
The Military Forces have in the same way had significant results in drug findings. During these two years of government we have found more than 851 tons of cocaine.
OTHER OPERATIONS OF THE MILITARY FORCES
In these 2 years the Military Forces has strengthened the number of units on the areas prioritized as El Catatumbo with the activation of the FUDRA 3 (rapid deployment force); in Cauca, the FUDRA 4 and the Specific Command of Cauca CECAU; in the lower Cauca in Antioquia with the Task Force Aquiles; in the south of Bolívar with the Task Force Marte, and finally the Brigade of Light Cavalry, as well as 32 platoons of military police trained to protect the military forces, their personnel, infrastructure, and military installations.
Through the brigade of demining engineers, 108 municipalities and two departments (Quindio-Magdalena) have been presented to Colombians free of suspicion of contamination of anti-personnel mines. The Colombian Navy, for its part, has presented four municipalities free of suspicion of these devices.
With regard to the protection of biodiversity and the environment, through the Artemisa campaign, the Military Forces have carried out operations for the protection of 5,917 hectares in natural parks such as Chiribiquete, La Macarena and La Paya.
The work of our Military Engineers has led to build four secondary road projects, which benefit 170 municipalities in Norte de Santander, Meta and Nariño.
We passed the veteran's Act to provide recognition, benefits and representation to more than 170,000 veterans of the Military Forces.
The social and Business Group of the defense Sector has managed to position itself as one of the largest business groups in the country. The defense industry contributed significantly to the economic development of the nation, which is reflected, among others, in the management of a budget exceeding $12 milliards pesos, which is approximately 1.5% of the national PIB.
ACTIONS DURING THE PANDEMIC
Finally, I would like to highlight the commitment of the Military Forces during the emergency for COVID-19, ensuring compliance with the measures of the National and local governments and supporting Colombians.
Just to give one example, more than 6,200,000 food baskets have been distributed by our military and police throughout the country, as well as more than 9,400,000 litres of drinking water; they have accompanied more than 4,800 security caravans to ensure supplies to cities and municipalities.
And defense sector companies have given part of their resources to save lives, strengthening the health sector with hospital elements such as stretchers, 321 of which have already been distributed to hospitals.
To our military and police units in every corner of the country I said Thank you!
Your work, during these two years and in the midst of this pandemic, has led us to move forward in the goal of achieving a Colombia based on legality, where we can all live and work peacefully.
Source: defense Sector Communication - Ministry of National Defense