Governors of more than a dozen of the 32 departments published this Monday on their social networks the phrase “freedom and order”which they accompanied with the image of the country’s shield, given the public order problems that some regions have experienced in recent weeks.
Roberto Jaramillo, governor of Quindío (center) and president of the National Federation of Departments (FND), assured that the leaders display “the national emblem” with “two beautiful words: freedom and order.”
“And that is what we have asked today of the President of the Republic (Gustavo Petro), the Minister of the Interior (Alfonso Prada), the Minister of Defense (Iván Velásquez) and our military leadership. We want to strengthen our Military Forces and the National Police to in the face of all these episodes that are taking place in matters of public order in the country,” he said.
Also read: Clan del Golfo says it has respected the ceasefire
He added that “groups outside the law have to know that the Constitution is defended here,” which is why the governors insist on “a country with freedom but a country in order.”
The image and the message were published, among others, by the governors of the departments of Cundinamarca, Nicolás García; Antioquia, Anibal Gaviria; Valle del Cauca, Clara Luz Roldán; Atlantic, Elsa Noguera; Santander, Mauricio Aguilar; Córdoba, Orlando Benítez, and Bolívar, Vicente Blel.
The governors’ message comes after President Petro suspended on Sunday the bilateral ceasefire that had been in force since the beginning of the year with the Clan del Golfo, Colombia’s largest criminal group, after accusing that gang of attacking the Police and instigating the mining strike that has the northwest of the country in check.
“As of this moment there is no ceasefire with the Clan del Golfo. The public forces must act immediately against the structures of the mafia organization,” Petro said on Sunday night, in a message on his Twitter account, after to announce that “all military operations” against that group were reactivated.
The reason given is an “attack with a rifle on the available force of the Police by the Clan del Golfo,” but the Colombian government had been blaming this group, heir to the paramilitary United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), for instigating the mining strike in the Bajo Cauca area, which affects part of the departments of Antioquia and Córdoba.
Besides: Petro suspends bilateral ceasefire with Clan del Golfo after mining strike
As part of these actions, four trucks and two public transport buses were set on fire on highways in the region on Sunday, according to the Antioquia governor.
In this sense, the National Federation of Departments also supported the president’s decision to suspend the bilateral ceasefire with the Clan del Golfo.
“Those who choose the path of war must receive the force of the State with full force,” the FND said on Twitter.