Gen. Oscar Naranjo: Colombia's national police chief resigns


Colombian Police director Oscar Naranjo gestures during a press conference at the headquarters of the National Police in Bogota on April 20, 2012, where he announced his resignation.



Gen. Oscar Naranjo, 55, Colombia's national police chief, has decided to step down, stating he is tired and wants a younger generation to take over, according to an announcement made by President Juan Manuel Santos on Thursday.

Santos said Naranjo agreed to stay on until July at his request and that of Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon, reported the Associated Press.

"I do not think it is the moment for goodbyes…," Santos said of the chief to AP. "You can leave the directing of the police, but you will be drafted" to keep working for the government.

Naranjo has been head of Colombia's police since 2007, and Santos said the four-star general wanted to make room for a new generation in law enforcement, according to the Irish Examiner. Naranjo's replacement has yet to be announced.

Santos is expected to meet with other high-ranking officers to choose a successor after Naranjo's resignation, according to Colombia Reports. Gen. Rodolfo Palomino, director of public safety, is said to be the most likely candidate.

Naranjo praised Colombia's 167,000 police officers and thanked them for their service.

"Everything comes and everything goes, but it's good that this is happening now," he said to the Examiner.

Naranjo is known for his close ties to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, according to the AP. He is credited with creating Colombia's intelligence service and headed a unit that captured some of the country's top drug traffickers and broke up its cartels. 

Colombia Reports said he is the first and only police officer to attain the rank of General in Colombia.

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