Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos on Friday dispatched 430 soldiers to the troubled Valle del Cauca department in western Colombia hours after the army thwarted an attack.
In the last month, at least 120 murders have been reported in the embattled department compared with just 69 in the entirety of 2012.
“We must do more to deliver the results the people are asking for,” said Santos. “We have to reverse the growing trend of homicides in this part of the country.”
Local authorities, including the governor of Valle del Cauca, requested that Santos have a greater hand in the area’s defense. Santos affirmed that these authorities rely on the support of the national government to fight with more efficiency against all forms of crime.
“Unfortunately…the homicides instead of following the national tendency…have risen here,”said the president, adding that this was unacceptable and that he demands greater force.