I refer to the article about Colombia published Feb. 2 under the headline: "Colombians Stunned by Firepower, Audacity of Major Drug Traffickers." After perusing the article, I question the basis on which The Post's correspondent drew the conclusion that the Colombian government "appears overwhelmed" by the drug traffickers.
On the contrary, my government has taken, and will continue to take, firm measures with regard to drug trafficking and terrorism in Colombia.
Indeed, President Virgilio Barco has adopted a new series of statutes, based in part on the experience of countries such as Spain, West Germany, Italy and Great Britain, which have had to defend their democratic institutions against terrorist threats.
One of the measures just adopted dictates the creation of 4,993 new law enforcement and judicial positions to strengthen the government's hand. In addition, the police force will be augmented by 5,000 men.
The law makes important procedural changes in the use of habeas corpus in criminal cases, creates a new commission to monitor human rights and will establish an information network to keep track of all jailed criminals. (The latter measure will be done in collaboration with the United Nations.)
Other measures, such as the country-wide control of helicopter flights and increased police patrols, are now in effect.
In addition to these concrete steps, our political parties are resolved to collaborate closely on antidrug efforts, and the coordination among the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the state will be improved. We have also asked countries worldwide to assist us in our efforts to end the smuggling of narcotics.
The National Security Council will meet three times a week to coordinate the various government antidrug programs.
Our new law augments the legal penalties to be assessed against terrorist and drug traffickers, offers rewards for information and creates a program to protect those who provide pertinent information to the government as well as to witnesses who testify in court.
In view of these measures, I do not believe it is accurate to say that the Colombian government is "overwhelmed" by its drug-related problems, which include the proven link between the traffickers and the guerrilla organizations that operate in my country.
The attitude of my country is now even more firm in terms of coming to grips with drug traffickers and terrorists. We will take whatever measures are necessary in one of the oldest and most consolidated democracies in Latin America.
Permit me one final comment on The Post's Feb. 5, front-page article "Violence Distorts Life in Bogota." Certainly there is violence in Colombia, as there is in other countries. The problem of insecurity is greater in some parts of Colombia than in others; one cannot generalize. The article, however, leaves the impression that violence was invented by Colombians, as if other nations do not have mafias, common criminals, smugglers or even "jealous husbands," as The Post's correspondent wrote.
I do not believe that reporting this kind of information serves a constructive purpose. Rather, it distorts the image of Colombia and unfairly prejudices the nation. What Colombia needs urgently is more help and assistance and less criticism in the unequal war my government is waging against drugs.
The Post plays an important role in the life of the United States, especially in its capital. I hope it will continue to portray, in full and accurate measure, both the challenges and the progress of Colombia in its war against narcotics trafficking, one of the true scourges of the 20th century. VICTOR MOSQUERA CHAUX Colombian Ambassador to the United States Washington