Colombia: safer than they think

Raleigh Addington
Raleigh Addington
editor at Chartwell Speakers

The Economist highlights an increase in guerrilla and paramilitary activity in Colombia. President Juan Manuel Santos says that this is in response to renewed pressure from the state, but the fear is this is part of a wider resurgence. In light of these recent attacks by armed groups, Santos has acknowledged that Colombians feel less secure than they in fact are.

During former President Alvaro Uribe’s two terms in office FARC numbers fell from 18,000 in 2002 to 8,000 in 2010. A concerted policy of ‘democratic security’ fostered business confidence; international companies invested.

However, Uribe has become increasingly critical of his former defence minister Juan Manuel Santos. Speaking as part of the LSE public lecture series on May 23 (attended by Chartwell), Uribe said Colombia needed to work towards “zero cases” of violence, a process he said he had begun, and hoped would continue after him.

Although billed as a speech, Uribe soon turned the evening into an energetic Q & A session. And you can listen to it here.

Alvaro Uribe is a keynote speaker on Latin America. He was President of Colombia from 2002 – 2010.