Recent accusatory tweets by ex-president Alvaro Uribe have sparked debate surrounding the veracity of national security figures being delivered to the public by President Juan Manuel Santos.
Conflicting statistics regarding not only security but various socio-economic indicators have caused a distressed buzz over social networks, spearheaded by 2014 candidate for the Senate Uribe, and doubt over the reliability of the current government.
The Twitter page of the founder of right-leaning political party Uribe Centro Democratico (UCD), along with various media and journalists, picked up on the fact that the figures tweeted by the President Santos under the tag #BalanceSeguridad and those published by impartial institutions simply did not add up.
Uribe tweeted a series of 17 reproaches labelled “Pres. Santos don’t confuse” towards the current head of state regarding national security, the economy and international relations, presenting both the figures announced by Santos and disagreeing data from official sources.
“Governments can make mistakes but they cannot lie,” Uribe tweeted on Monday.
Los gobiernos pueden equivocarse pero no mentir
— Álvaro Uribe Vélez (@AlvaroUribeVel) January 7, 2014
The 17 tweets are summarized at the bottom of this article. A similar tweet by UCD defense specialist Rafael Guarin last Sunday, that was re-published on Uribe’s wall, highlighted how “either the President is lying, or the Ministry of Defense is lying.”
— RAFAEL GUARIN (@RafaGuarin) January 6, 2014
Uribe continued with his accusations on Tuesday, when his political party’s official site published news of further conflicting statistics from Santos’ government.
“President Santos said that the number of criminal organizations had gone down by 40%. Nonetheless, in many parts of the country this has gone up,” Uribe said to his party’s official press. “According to a report by the Ministry of Defense, in August 2013 there was a 4% reduction,” he continued, questioning how it was possible for a further 36% to occur in the last four months of 2013.
According to the article published on the party’s website, the contradicting figures with which Uribe is challenging the veracity of Santos’ declarations come from neutral information centers, including some belonging to his very government such as the Ministry of Defense, as well as País Libre and the Sergio Arboleda University.
Uribe’s 17 incriminating tweets
- To Congress in 2013 you say common homicide!!!: 15,038 in 2012, today you say 16,033 in 2012
- In 2010 282 kidnappings were recorded. In 2012, 305 according to Pais Libre.
- Between 2010 and 2013, kidnappings rose 13%
- Between 2010 and 2013, extortion rose 113%
- Extortion according to the Ministry of Defense: 2010: 1,352 cases / 2012: 2,330, Jan-Oct 2013: 2,743 cases
- In 2010 there were 42 structures dedicated to terrorism. In 2012, 51
- In 2010 there were 9,200 FARC and ELN narco-guerrilla militants. Alejandro Eder says that 25 thousand were demobilized.
- In 2013, the FARC terrorists recorded 2,075 violent actions
- Between 2010 and 2013, illegal squads increased by 70%
- Between 2010 and 2013, attacks to oil pipelines increased by 223%
- Between 2010 and 2013, attacks against the energy sector increased by 129%
- Between 2010 and 2013, attacks against road infrastructures rose by 500%
- Between 2010 and 2013, personal theft rose by 33%
- Between 2010 and 2013, robbery to business establishments rose by 46%
- Health organizations registered an enormous increase in heroine consumption
- The country is filling up with drug trafficking hotspots and you propose legalization.
- Colombia has the highest percentage of university students consuming cocaine and you propose legalization.
Uribe used trumped up security figures during his two presidential terms between 2002 and 2010 when more than 3,500 civilians were executed and subsequently registered as killed members of illegal armed groups.
- Uribe asegura que Santos miente con las cifras de seguridad en Colombia (El Universal – Venezuela)
- Gobierno Santos se contradice con sus propias cifras de seguridad: Uribe (Centro Democratico Party Official Webpage)
- Debate por cifras de seguridad entre Uribe y Santos (Caracol Radio)
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