Regarding the current law and order situation in the department of Arauca, the Ministry of National Defense present the following considerations:
1. The department of Arauca is in the northern region of the Colombian Orinoquía and occupies 2.1% of the national territory, with a population of more than 270 thousand inhabitants. The Military Forces are working permanently in the department with a Task Force, a territorial brigade and 15 tactical units of the National Army, a Navy Battalion of the National Navy; in addition there is the National Police in all municipalities through the Department of Arauca.
2. Thanks to the institutional control of the territory and the coordinated work of the different institutions of the State, the department of Arauca has increased its commercial activity and maintains an important productivity in the agricultural and fuel sector.
3. In the department of Arauca, a Zone has been established by the National Government, where in the future development plans will, accelerate with a territorial approach and terrorism, through the unified operation of the State and its institutions for greater institutional control of the territory, will have no longer continuity.
It is noteworthy that in this Future Zone work is being done on the improvement of judicial processes such as the Prosecutor, CTI (Technical Investigations Corps), SIJIN (JUDICIAL POLICE) and on the strengthening of research institutions, as well as the intelligence capabilities necessary to effectively protect the people.
4. The Military Forces, in the framework of the Bicentenary Plan, and the National Police, have achieved significant operational results against the organized armed groups in this department, hitting the most important instability factors in the region.
It is noteworthy that in relation to the ELN terrorist group there was a 10% increase in the blows dealt on its members, 219 in 2018 and 242 in 2019, which is represented in 216 captures in coordination with the Attorney General's Office, 21 voluntary surrenders and 5 deaths in military operations.
On the residual Organized Armed Groups, there was in the same way an increase of 47% in the blows dealt to those groups, which means 107 in 2018 and 158 in 2019, represented in 154 captures and 4 deaths in military operations.
Speaking on citizen security, the work of the National Police and the Military Forces led to a 5% reduction in extortion cases in the department last year; 32% in cases of personal injury and 46% in kidnapping. Regarding theft, there are decreases in theft to residences (-26%), to shops (-26%) and to motorcycles (-12%), according to 2019 statistics, compared with 2018.
5. The Security forces will continue to conduct operations throughout the department of Arauca with the purpose of providing security to the inhabitants of the region, generating the necessary conditions for the economic and social development of the department.
6. The Minister of Defense, Holmes Trujillo, will meet this Friday with the Director for the Americas of Human Rights Watch, José Miguel Vivanco, to analyze the situation of the department of Arauca.