W. Alejandro Sanchez
IHS Jane's Defense Weekly - Military Capabilities
January 24, 2016
Originally published: http://www.janes.com/article/57440/colombia-to-create-12-battalions-for-disaster-relief
The Colombian Army plans to create 12 new battalions compromised of reserve troops for disaster relief.
General Marco Tamayo, head of the army's recruitment centre, said in mid-January that the units will be staffed without using forceful recruitment - referring to the practice known as 'batidas' in which soldiers detain individuals in the streets, take them to a base, and force them to join the military.
Colombia has suffered a number of powerful natural disasters in recent years. For example, in late 2015 strong rains along the country's Pacific coast, particularly in Cauca, affected some 13,000 people. Earlier in January, rains caused the Caunapí River to overflow, affecting some 500 families in Nariño.
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