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General Gustavo Matamoros, Deputy Commander of the Colombian Armed Forces (Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff)
On October 18 General Gustavo Matamoros presented a conference on the Colombian experience in reinforcing governability through an increase in security.
(In the picture, from left to right)
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy, Moira Flanders, Director, Inter-American Defense College
General Gustavo Matamoros, Deputy Commander of the Colombian Armed Forces
Richard D. Downie, Ph.D., Director, Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies
Before a select group of attendees, the Deputy Commander of the Colombian Armed Forces, General Gustavo Matamoros, gave a presentation at CHDS that focused on the key aspects of Colombia’s process of reinforcing governability which, during the presidency of President Álvaro Uribe, became known as democratic security, a term that continues to be used by the government of President Juan Manuel Santos. From his current privileged place of observation (even more notable than his previous responsibilities within the country’s main conflict zones), General Matamoros was able to discern four fundamental elements that have served the Colombian government in general, and in particular its Armed Forces, enabling them to recover within the last eight years the political space and the ability to successfully intervene lost in previous decades. According to General Matamoros, these four elements have been: 1) the commitment to an increase in security as an essential basis for development; 2) the president's leadership, which had a critical role in recovering the legitimacy of, and respect for, the State; 3) the maximum use of military capabilities while scrupulously maintaining respect for human rights, and 4) assistance from the United States in the training and supplying of technical capabilities to combat the double threat of guerrilla terrorism and drug trafficking. Although proud of the achievements gained, General Matamoros pointed out that the successful efforts carried out in recent years allows the end of the conflict to be seen, but that much of the road there still remains to be covered.