Colombian President Alvaro Uribe alleged on Monday that members of the National Narcotics Directorate (DNE), as well as other government authorities, are involved in the country's illegal drug trafficking trade.
Speaking before a security council in Caucasia, Antioquia, Uribe alleged he had received reports that some DNE properties had been "penetrated by drug traffickers," and announced that these properties will be handed over to government agencies Sena and Corpoica.
The Caucasia council was called to address violence in the region, such as a recent grenade attack that killed nine people, and was attended by national army generals and members of the police, as well as the governor of Antioquia, Luis Alfredo Ramos, and the mayors of Bajo Cauca and municipalities in the south of Cordoba.
Speaking to reporters at the event Uribe also expressed concern that judges were releasing suspects who ought to be convicted.
He explained, "I am deeply concerned about the complaint I received last night by a prosecutor in Monteria ... the prosecution was very perturbed because they had captured a criminal gang who came from Uraba to Cordoba in a Toyota jeep ... with guns and a judge released them. That's very disappointing," said the head of state.
Finally, the president asserted that the security forces will have to work harder to provide better information to the Prosecution so that the criminals are brought to trial and not released on bail.
Last week the Colombian government received heavy criticism from NGO Human Rights Watch over its failure to deal with to the rise of new violent groups which have taken the place of demobilized paramilitaries.
The government rejected the report's claims, but have made moves to address the issue.
February 9, 2010