Colombia’s Petro replaces security chiefs in human rights push

Colombia’s security forces have a long history of corruption scandals and human rights abuses committed during the country’s nearly six decades of conflict.

“The concept of human security means that success lies not in the number of dead, but in substantially reducing deaths, massacres and increasing substantially people’s liberties and rights,” Petro told a news conference on Friday to name his new officials.

Petro said his criteria for selecting the new commanders were “zero corruption, zero violation of fundamental rights”.

General Helder Fernan Giraldo was named commander of the armed forces, General Luis Mauricio Ospina is to direct the army and Vice Admiral Francisco Hernando Cubides will head the navy. General Luis Carlos Cordoba will direct the air force and General Henry Armando Sanabria the national police.

Armed conflict has plagued Colombia for almost 60 years, causing about 450,000 deaths between 1985 and 2018 alone.

‘Desire for peace’

Colombia’s national peace commissioner, Danilo Rueda, said on Friday that the government would take the necessary “judicial and political steps” to make peace talks possible with ELN after a meeting between the representatives of both sides in Havana, Cuba.Petro, a critic of Colombia’s military establishment and former member of the M-19 armed group, promised during his election campaign profound changes to the country’s security forces and he urged the new officials to protect life.

General Helder Fernan Giraldo was named commander of the armed forces, General Luis Mauricio Ospina is to direct the army and Vice Admiral Francisco Hernando Cubides will head the navy. General Luis Carlos Cordoba will direct the air force and General Henry Armando Sanabria the national police.

Armed conflict has plagued Colombia for almost 60 years, causing about 450,000 deaths between 1985 and 2018 alone.

‘Desire for peace’

Colombia’s national peace commissioner, Danilo Rueda, said on Friday that the government would take the necessary “judicial and political steps” to make peace talks possible with ELN after a meeting between the representatives of both sides in Havana, Cuba.

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