Created: 9/18/1996

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on Defensive |

Recent guerrilla attacks across thewhichdied and more thanave beenforced thea defensive posture and raised public doubts about its ability toinsurgency, accordingreports. Faced

wilh ihe high casualties

military has strengthened security around potential targets, worked to improve intelligence collection, and increased combat patrolling.

these efforts hare resulted in several victories over small guerrilla forces, shortfalls in intelligence, communications, and mobility appear to have blunted the Army's response.^

Army Commander Bcdoya, long aware of the deficiencies, has pressed publicly for badly needed equipment as well as for legislation to give the armed forces more authority to deal with security threats.

Last week. President Samper urged the nation towar bond" proposal, which is expected to0 million to the armed forces' coffers. Colombia's financial groups oppose the proposal.

Six draft bills to enhance military legal powers were recently introduced in the Senate, where they were endorsed byenators. The bills face an uphill battle, however, because several congressmen, the Prosecutor General, and members of the judiciary claim that they would lead to increased human rights violations and decreased civilian control over the armed forces.


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