Petro warns the military in Colombia to prepare to be a "peace army"

Petro warns the military in Colombia to prepare to be a "peace army"

August 20, 2022, 10:54 PM

August 20, 2022, 10:54 PM

The president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, affirmed this Saturday in front of the military high command that the troops must prepare to be a “peace army”, after decades of internal conflict that his government wants to extinguish through negotiations with armed groups.

Petro set a new course for lhe Armed Forces that for the first time swore allegiance to a former guerrilla, in a ceremony held at a cadet school in northern Bogotá.

The first left-wing president of Colombia, who rebelled against the State in arms before signing the peace agreement in 1990,he endorsed the troops that they must change the conception of war before their decision to dialogue with the ELN, the last recognized guerrillaand propose agreements with the other groups so that they cease the violence in exchange for penal benefits.

“It is about changing the conception itself (…) what is demanded of it by the Colombian people (…) it is an army that begins to prepare for peace, that ends, hopefully if we succeed, as an army of peace”, Petro declared in the presence of the new leadership of the Armed Forces that he appointed on August 12.

The president emphasized that his greatest “challenge” is to build the “fundamental pillars of a peace that becomes definitive“, after a “permanent violence, a perpetual war”.

Petro received recognition as commander in chief of 228,000 soldiers and 172,000 police which together make up the largest armed forces on the continent after those of Brazil.

Over decades, The United States has allocated millions of resources in its training and equipment against drug trafficking and rebel groups.

The Colombian president pointed out that the future “peace army” will have to assume the “essential function of defending national sovereignty”, in the face of threats such as organized crime around drug trafficking.

The empowerment of foreign drug cartels can affect our national sovereignty that increasingly dominate our territory (…) This multinational crime can bring here more powerful weapons than those we can buy (…) it can bring mercenaries and foreigners and make them part of Colombian violence,” he added.

In this sense, he again underlined the “failure” of the anti-drug fight: “As long as a mistaken policy against drugs is maintained, Colombians will continue to kill each other (…) we have to press for global changes in the conception” of the problem.

In his message to the troops, Petro invited the military to also assume the care “from now on of the Amazon jungle” as a “national security issue”, in the face of advancing deforestation, as well as to develop industries in the air and river transport sector.

Source link

Previous Story

Colombia, eliminated from the U-20 Women’s World Cup at the hands of Brazil

Latest from Bolivia