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Colombia's new security push

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"We have to adjust our doctrine, our operations, and our operating procedures, without falling into the trap of undermining the efficiency and vigor of the operations that we will continue to conduct against them, be it in the depth of the jungle or the altitude of the mountains; wherever is necessary," said the president as he looked over ranks of soldiers, many dressed in colonial-era uniforms.

The president did not talk about increasing the security forces yet further, but rather mimicking the actions of the rebels, by operating in small units. He placed particular emphasis on intelligence, announcing the creation of the Center for Fusion of Intelligence of the General Staff of the Armed Forces. While its title may be long-winded, the mission of the new Center is short and necessary: to unify intelligence gathering, and to overcome rivalries between the different intelligence agencies that at the moment sees duplication of effort and a resistance to the sharing of information. Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera later said that the personnel within the armed forces dedicated to intelligence gathering would be tripled, while the police would see its intelligence staff doubled.

Santos also mentioned the Achilles heel in the entire system, which is the administration of justice. Impunity levels are running at some 90 percent, meaning that the vast majority of those arrested end up walking free, which in turn undermines the credibility of the police. However instead of promising more resources to the justice system, the president simply said that the security forces would work more closely with those who prosecute crimes. This does not inspire a great deal of confidence, nor promise any reduction in the enormous backlog of cases that the attorney general's office and the courts are currently dealing with.

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