Interview with Major Camilo Mejía Chief of Military Education of the Faculty of Military Science
July 23, 2019
July 23, 2019
A couple of months ago, Grey Dynamics published an article about the Columbian governments’ struggle with non-state actors such FARC and ELN and its quest for peace. The article, however, was challenged by a commenter on LinkedIn (Major Mejía). As an expert on Columbian security affairs, I asked the Major what his position was and to my delight he agreed to an interview!
Well… what can I say about me? I’m an active duty Intel officer (Maj). Joined the Colombian army in 2003, I have been working as Intel officer since 2006. My specialty is Human Intelligence (HUMINT). I’ve run undercover Intel activities almost my whole career as Colombian military Intel functions like MI5, FBI, etc. (Internal counterintelligence agencies).
I have been on conventional military Intel positions as well such as battalion and brigade S2 officer. During the last part of my career I served as Intel officer from special operations units supported by foreign agencies like CIA and MI6 (SIS).
I have 3 bachelor’s degrees: military science, business administration and social-political analysis. 3 graduate-level degrees: management of resources for national defense, management and leadership for military units and a master’s degree in strategic Intelligence.
I was a former student and instructor of the Colombian military Intel school and former student of the US Army Intelligence Center of Excellence at Fort Huachuca.
Currently selected to attend the Joint Command and Staff Program of the Canadian Forces College starting next month. Currently, I work at the Colombian Army’s Military Academy (officer’s academy) in Bogota as the Chief of Military Education of the Faculty of Military Science.
Finally, author of 3 academic publications on intelligence with NATO and researcher of the Asymmetric Warfare Research Center—writing bulletins and light stuff like that.
I have always wanted to join the army. The Intel came after as something unexpected. I just… was chosen to be part of the Intel branch.
Considering our violent non-state actors as soviet-era communist guerrillas. They are pretty much cartels without an ideology. Making money by drug trafficking and calling themselves “people’s army”
Changing the mindset from clandestine operations to conventional military Intelligence in line with NATO standards.
Unfortunately, we got the longest non-conventional war on the western hemisphere and it is fought entirely in jungle and rain forest…. that is kind of awesome for COIN and jungle operations doctrine development
The United States is our biggest partner. We recovered this country from a failed state to a middle-term economy in 20 years. All the support we needed to such a great accomplishment came mostly from USA.
Depending on the threat. Modern technology does not impact as much as you think when tackling irregular threats in the middle of the jungle. Most of the Colombian military Intel is collected by HUMINT operators.
In five years, we hope we have a fully functional peace talk dealing with the ELN. It has not been possible so far like it happened with FARC.
A considerable portion of the Colombian GDP is based on oil production. Pipelines are targeted across Colombia by several non-state actors. This is a problem of national proportions because those violent non-actors see the pipelines as the government’s “wallet”. They believe that targeting pipelines will reduce military pressure on them. In some cases, large military units are deployed to protect critical infrastructure which facilitates the establishment of sanctuaries.
I would like to thank Major Mejía for his candidness and time to talk to me and bring our readers a rare perspective behind the scenes. We continue to strive to give a platform to active and retired professionals in the security industry and welcome any suggestions from our readers.
Image: UN Dispatch (link)
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grey Dynamics LTD.
Ahmed is the CEO of Grey Dynamics and Editor for the Grey Zone blog. He writes about Super-Empowered Individuals and groups, Infosec, Espionage and Covert Action