By Gabriel Silva Luján, EL TIEMPO, April 9, 2021
(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)
The security policy of the current administration was not constructed a sensible analysis among experts, with clear theoretical principles and concepts. Neither do we know if, during the campaign or during the transition, the indispensable gauging of risks, opportunities, threats, and capacities was carried out. The absence of that technical bedrock left the taking of decisions in such a fundamental matter without a compass for the society.
The original sin was the absence of recognition that the security of the citizens, of the countryside, and of the government is a responsibility of such dimensions that it must be outside of political and electoral calculations, and even outside of the vanities of the President at the time. Unfortunately, something that would be obvious to any statesman was not obvious to President Duque, who dedicated himself from the first day to administering national security like his own hunting preserve, looking exclusively at his own favorability, with enduring electoral objectives, and at benefits for the governing party.
The series of errors is overwhelming, starting with his appointment of the ousted Minister Guillermo Botero, who made every effort to advance the politicization of the Armed Forces, initiated by Álvaro Uribe, who is responsible for having invented and boosted the dangerous division in the Armed Forces between the institutionalists and the warmongers. That division has reduced the effectiveness, the coordination, and the harmony, and has weakened the team spirit of the Armed Forces.
Duque’s second error was that he lacked the political stature to take on his constitutional role as the leader of all of the Colombian people, responsible for defending the Constitution; and for implementing the Peace Agreements fully. To feed his childish resentment of Santos, he echoed a bunch of fanatics in his ranks, and catered to them with his use of Uribe’s ideas; he committed the crass error of underestimating the immense strategic support that all of the components of the Peace Agreements have.
The Peace Agreements were the most powerful weapon, the best tool, to make progress in national security. That decision to back away from the Agreements and that indifferent attitude toward them ended up legitimizing the resurgence of the dissidents, leaving the territories liberated by the peace exposed, so that today they are prisoners of the criminal organizations. That, and exhibiting indifference to the killing of leaders and demobilized guerrillas, all led to shattering any belief in the communities that the government would protect them.
In regard to security in the countryside, the failed policy toward Venezuela, built on the ingenuous basis that we would be able to overthrow Maduro—who only needed a little push and a concert on the frontier—has left us sleeping beside a corralled and wounded animal, resentful and on the defensive. Venezuela, for its complicity with the terrorists and organized crime that originates in Colombia, besides its strategic destructive capacity, is now a severe threat to national security. That is the cost of the fact that, with regard to Venezuela, Duque, once he became President, continued acting as if he were still a candidate.
Finally, the government’s denial and indifference to the serious problems of social security that the country is experiencing are responsible for the principal failure of his management on this front: the unstoppable avalanche of massacres of citizens and murders of leaders. President, the citizens that have been murdered, subjected, harassed, recruited by force; they are not the enemy. They are the victims.
Dictum. “The purpose of counterintelligence is to break them up, and it’s immaterial whether there are facts to justify the charges or not.” J. Edgar Hoover, FBI Director (1935-1972)