At the threshold of the 21st century, Colombia is faced with the challenge of promoting and consolidating a society in which the essential obligations of the Colombian State are guaranteed, as stated in our Constitution:
"...to serve the community, promote prosperity and guarantee the effectiveness of the principles, rights and duties consecrated in the Constitution; facilitate the participation of the people in the decisions that affect them and in the economic, the political, the administrative and the cultural life of the Nation; defend our national independence, maintain territorial integrity and assure peaceful coexistence and applicability of a just order.".
The responsibility that those of us who from within the government are working on the construction of a better country for current and future generations, is to strengthen and consolidate the Colombian State as a State for Social Rights that can protect all of it's residents and their rights to life, dignity, property, beliefs and other basic rights and liberties.
This fundamental process requires confronting now, more than ever, the difficult and ever changing national and international conditions characteristic of the closing days of the second millenium of the Christian era. But, it is not only about assuming the challenge posed by the experiences of our own history and evolving process of the creation of a national state, but it is also responding to the two new challenges of the growth of drug trafficking and the economic, political and cultural "globalization" process.
Undoubtedly, the symptoms of a State that has yet to consolidate, such as the lack of confidence in the ability of the armed forces, the police, and the judicial system to guarantee the preservation of order and security, the crisis in credibility at the different levels of government, and the proliferation of corrupt practices in the public and private sectors, have been aggrevated by the enormous destabilizing power of the drug trafficking business, that with its huge economic resources has generated indiscriminate violence along with a degenerative process of values that can only be compared to the Prohibition period in North America .
At the same time, the still young Colombian economy, even though it has seen 40 years of continual growth, has not yet been able to massively incorporate a large part of the national population into the productive processes nor has it been able significantly reduce poverty levels. Meanwhile, the violence and corruption fueled by drug trafficking in generating distrust among foreign investors, constitutes a roadblock in the transformation and modernization of the dynamic productive process of the country, considered essential for generating employment and resulting in progress within the framework of globalization.
The secular problems that the Colombian government has until now been unable to successfully solve, have been aggravated and intensified by the drug trafficking business. In addition, in a kind of vicious and pervasive cycle, the violence has leached the resources that the country would need in order to complete the construction of a modern State.
We are aware that to reach our objectives- requires a social and governmental process that will take some years, time during which it is essential to reach consensus among the Colombian society, that will facilitate the development of a people who will know and demand its rights but will also be conscientious and abide by its obligations.
That is why my government has committed itself to a fundamental goal: to strengthen the State in order to regain the citizens' confidence and recuperate the basic norms of peaceful coexistence. Because the attainment of peace is not only an issue of will. You have to build peace and it will be an outcome of the process of strengthening the State and the consequences resulting in the possibility of guaranteeing all of its citizens, in the entire national territory, their security and the free exercise of their rights and liberties.
The negotiation with the insurgency, that with so much determination and will we have initiated and will continue seeking, is an integral part of our strategy because it intends to resolve 40 year-old historical conflicts that have encountered countless obstacles in the creation of the modern and progressive state that Colombia urgently needs to become. The search for peace and the defense of the democratic institutions will require time and patience, faith and determination to successfully deal with the inherent pressures and doubts that characterize a process of this nature.
The fight against drug trafficking constitutes the core in our strategy to decidedly advance in a partnership between the consumer and producer countries, under the principles of reciprocity and equality. The problem of illicit drugs is clearly a transnational and complex problem characterized by casting a destroying force upon societies due to the physiological, psychological, and social consequences for those who consume, as well as the effects of violence and corruption derived from the immense revenues generated from its smuggling . The solution to the illicit drug problem does not rest in finger-pointing at the consumer or producer countries. The efforts that we make will be insufficient if we do not make them as a part of a true international partnership to confront and resolve this shared problem.
Colombia has already demonstrated its commitment and determination in the search for a definite solution to the drug trafficking phenomenon, as well as to the armed conflict, human rights violations and the destruction of the environment to which drug production is associated. Nevertheless, more than twenty years after the appearance of marihuana and the increase in cultivation and commercialization of cocaine and poppy, the results for Colombia are still negative and adverse regarding its efforts to consolidate a modern state. Drug trafficking has become a destabilizing force, altering the economy, reverting the advances made in the distribution of land, corrupting the society, doubled the violence, negatively affecting the investment climate, and perhaps the most seriously, the harm caused by its contribution of resources to the war apparatus of the armed groups that have been attacking the government.
Our country has been leading the battle against drugs, confronting the drug cartels and their intimidation campaigns and sacrificing many of our best citizens in the process. Up to now, drug trafficking has become a fragmented network, more internationalized, and harder to combat. The world is always trying out new strategies. More resources are being destined for education and prevention. Results are being made regarding the confiscation and expropriation of money and properties obtained from illegal drug trafficking. In Colombia we have launched operations to destroy processing laboratories and distribution networks, we are improving and tightening security and control of our rivers and airspace to ensure interdiction, and we are exploring new formulas to eradicate illegal crops. Factors directly related to drug trafficking like money laundering, illegal smuggling of chemicals, illegal arms trafficking, are also part of a shared problem and must be confronted through out the world, specially where illicit drugs are produced.
The success of our strategy depends, also, on our efforts to reform and modernize our military forces in order to guarantee the application of the law and to return the sense of security to all Colombians, in the totality of the national territory. Strong and dynamic military and police forces and the commitment to peace and the respect for human rights, are an indispensable requirement for the preservation and the consolidation of the state of law. And above all, there is priority to have an effective judicial system that can defend and promote the respect for human rights. We are committed to this cause, convinced that our first obligation as a government is to guarantee those who reside in our country the exercise of their rights and fundamental liberties.
Advancement in the construction of the state also requires reforms at the very heart of the institutions in order to for our political process to be an effective instrument of progress and social justice. If we are going to progress in our objective, we have to reduce the causes and the spurs of violence, by strengthening the social participation and the collective conscience. In order to accomplish this, the strategy includes a specific effort that in a few years will guarantee the entire population access to education and to an adequate health system, with special attention to the most vulnerable groups of the population. Additionally, we want to strengthen the local governments in order to increase their participation, and make them more sensitive and responsible for the needs of their citizens as well as promote the strengthening of the citizen participation in efforts against corruption, kidnapping, violence and the displacement of people and communities.
Finally, Colombia requires aid to strengthen its economy and generate employment. Our country needs to improve its access to markets were our products have comparative advantages. The aid of the United States, the European Community and the rest of the members of the international community is vital for the economic development of our country and to counterbalance drug trafficking, in that it will help create alternative legal employment, that will counteract against employment generated by drug trafficking as well as the same armed organizations that feed off it. We are convinced that the first step to reach successful world wide "globalization" is the "globalization of solidarity. " Hence, Colombia asks for aid from its partners. We require programs for alternative development in Colombian rural areas and more accessibility for our legal businesses, so that we can successfully combat the illegal ones.
There are many reasons to be optimistic about the future of Colombia, especially if we find echo among the world community, and in that way together we can create prosperity combined with justice and that way we will be able to pave the way for a lasting peace.
We think, according to the Spanish author Miguel of Unamun, that "faith is not to believe in the invisible, but rather to create the invisible. " With this unfolding faith that we have in our own capacity and with the solidarity and aid of our international partners in the shared fight against the plague of drug trafficking, we are sure that we will create "the invisible. " This modern, democratic and peaceful society will go proudly and dignified to participate in the future that is announced with the third millenium.
1. The state seeks to consolidate its institutionalization as "the entity responsible for the public interest," to regain the confidence of its citizens and restore the basic norms of peaceful coexistence. That will provide a solid basis for recovering the national patrimony and ensuring peace and prosperity in Colombia. The government is committed to consolidating the central responsibilities of the state: promoting democracy and the rule of law and the monopoly in the application of justice, territorial integrity, employment, respect for human rights and human dignity and the preservation of order as established by political and social rules.
2. Achieving these objectives requires a process of community and institution building which will take several years, for which it will be indispensable to build a broad consensus in Colombian society. Peace is not simply a matter of will: it has to be built. It arises from the strengthening of the state and from the consequent possibility of guaranteeing to all Colombians security and the exercise of their rights and liberties. Negotiations with insurgent groups seeks the resolution of historic conflicts which have undergone a profound change over the years, to greatly facilitate the process of social re-construction.
3. It is central to this strategy to move forward decisively in partnership with the countries which produce and those which consume illegal drugs, under the principles of reciprocity and equality. This partnership should confront the destabilizing power of the drug trade, one of the most profitable activities in the world, and which has not only contributed to the corruption of Colombian society and a diminished business confidence but which also feeds the violence and the armed conflict in Colombia through its financial support to various armed groups, allowing them to acquire economic power and territorial presence.
4. Colombia has been working toward these objectives, dealing with the fight against the drug cartels and the narcoterrorism they unleashed. During the last decades Colombia faced the growth of narcotrafficking and managed to maintain a vigorous economy, without falling prey to the great crises which beset other Latin American countries. Today, Colombia confronts the worst economic crisis in its history, which limits its capacity to resolve its problems at a time in which violence, fed by drug trafficking, continues to increase.
5. By attacking the main factors responsible for the increasing production of illegal crops through a comprehensive strategy, this joint task against drug production and trafficking will in turn ensure that the fight on drugs obtains important positive measurable results, with enormous benefits for both Colombia and the world.
1. An economic strategy that generates employment supports the ability of the State to collect tax revenues and allows the country to have a viable counterbalancing economic force to narco-trafficking. The expansion of international commerce, accompanied by enhanced access to foreign markets and free trade agreements that attract foreign and domestic investment, are key to the modernization of our economic base and to job creation. Such a strategy is crucial at a time when Colombia is confronting its worst economic crisis in seventy years, with unemployment reaching 20%, which in turn greatly limits the government´s ability to confront drug trafficking and the violence it generates.
2. A fiscal and financial strategy that includes tough austerity and adjustment measures, in order to boost economic activity and recover the historically excellent prestige of Colombia in the international financial markets.
3. A military strategy to restructure and modernize the Colombian Armed Forces and the National Police, to make them more capable to re-establish the rule of law and provide security throughout the country, and in combating organized crime and armed groups.
4. A judicial and human rights strategy to reaffirm the rule of law and assure equal and impartial justice to all Colombians, while pushing ahead with the reforms already initiated among the State security forces to ensure their proper role in defending and respecting the rights and dignity of each and every Colombian.
5. A counter-narcotics strategy, in partnership with other producer and consumer nations, to combat the production and consumption of illegal drugs; and on a national level to allow us to obstruct the flow of millionaire resources from drugs to various insurgent and other armed organizations which is fueling violence.
6. An alternative development strategy that will promote agricultural and other profitable economic activity for small rural farmers and their families. Alternative development will also consider economically feasible environmental protection activities that conserve the forest areas to stop the dangerous expansion of illegal cultivation throughout the Amazon Delta and Colombia's vast natural parks, whose immense biodiversity and environmental importance to the entire globe is incalculable.
7. A social participation strategy aimed at collective consciousness-raising. This strategy aims at more accountable local governments, community involvement in anti-corruption efforts and in continuing to put pressure on insurgent and other armed groups to end kidnapping, violence and internal displacement of citizens and communities. Also, this strategy will include working with local business and labor groups, in order to adopt newer, more productive models in light of a more globalized economy, and to strengthen our agricultural communities in the face of rural violence.
8. A human development strategy to promote efforts to guarantee, within the next few years, adequate education and health, to provide opportunities to every young Colombian and to help vulnerable groups in our society, including not just those affected and displaced by violence but also those in conditions of extreme poverty.
9. A peace strategy that aims at a negotiated peace agreement with the insurgency on the basis of territorial integrity, democracy and human rights, and which should strengthen the rule of law and the fight against drugs throughout the country.
10. An international strategy to confirm Colombia´s leadership in the consolidation of the principles of shared responsibility, integrated action and balanced treatment of the drug issue. The role of the international community is also vital to the success of the peace process provided it conforms to norms established in international law and is requested by the Colombian government.
1. The Pastrana government has had to contend with a legacy of a very deteriorating economic downturn.. Unemployment is at an historic high of almost 20% and GDP has completed the third consecutive quarter of negative growth. Several external shocks (low coffee and other commodity prices, extensive earthquake damage) have exacerbated Colombia's economic weaknesses (rising fiscal deficit since the early 1990's, banking sector problems). The ongoing conflict and the security situation are reinforcing an erosion of confidence in the economy. As employment opportunities continue to disappear due to the recession, more Colombians are pursuing livelihoods in destabilizing narcotics and other illegal activities.
2. The central element in the government's strategy to restore confidence in the Colombian economy through measures that stabilize the economy, including a return to fiscal balance. These measures will lay a basis for sustained growth in private sector trade and investment. Renewed confidence- together with a healthy banking system, stable government finances, improvements in the security situation, increased Colombian exports and measures to improve the investment climate-create an environment in which private sector growth will generate employment for the Colombian people. 3. Given the need for fiscal consolidation, Colombia requires financial assistance to help cover its security and counter-narcotics spending requirements, as well as its pressing social and public investment needs. While narcotics traffickers and rebel groups continue to fund themselves through drug profits, Colombia has been forced to cut back in critical areas due to a growing debt and debt service burden. (Colombia's total debt almost doubled in the past five years, rising from 19.1% of GDP in 1995 to 34% in the year 1999.) As part of the budget cutbacks, money going to the military, police, and judicial system has been reduced dramatically (20%). Outside assistance is essential to allow the government to both consolidate its economic reforms and at the same time increase the flow of resources to finance the military effort and address the social needs of the Colombian population. In this manner, the government will be able to lay a sound foundation for private sector-led economic growth while ensuring the current economic situation does not generate additional employment in illicit economic activities.
1.The government is working to stabilize the macroeconomic environment, with particular emphasis on addressing imbalances in the fiscal accounts and problems within the banking sector.
2. During the past year, public spending was cut, the VAT's base was widened and a special tax levied on financial transactions and controls on tax evasion were introduced. This second year, most civil servants salaries are to be frozen and more cuts will be made in bureaucracy and non-investment expenditure.
3. A new set of structural reforms-the rationalization of regional public finance, social security reform and the creation of a regional liability pension fund-have been presented to the Colombian Congress. They seek to reduce the structural fiscal deficit and stabilize the debt level.
4. Public companies and banks are to be privatized to increase productivity and help finance the adjustment. ISA and ISAGEN, two national public electric companies, and 14 smaller regional electricity distributors are already on the market, and so is CARBOCOL, the state's coal mining company. Three state owned banks will be up for privatization next year.
5. Two obstacles have rendered the fiscal adjustment more difficult. January's earthquake in the coffee belt is demanding investment resources of almost 1% of GDP, and the financial strategy designed to prevent a banking crisis will demand almost double that amount.
6. The government is closely coordinating its activities with the international financial institutions. The government is currently in discussions with the IMF regarding a three-year assistance program to support the government's fiscal and structural reform plan. World Bank and IDB assistance is supporting the government's efforts to reform the financial sector and public finances system.
7. In addition, the government has prepared a social safety net to alleviate the negative impact that fiscal adjustment will have on the most vulnerable sectors of the population. With one of every five persons unemployed, this is a vulnerable group that includes families displaced from conflict areas of the country. The policy instruments mimic those successfully implemented in similar countries: targeted public works, subsidies for basic necessities (especially for children and single mothers), and targeted loans. The government is working with the IFIs to ensure the fiscal stabilization program will not jeopardize the most vulnerable members of society.
8. The government requires additional outside financing in order to implement its strategy. Assistance is essential to minimize the short-term negative impact of fiscal consolidation on unemployment and other social problems, which ultimately increase the spread of illicit activities.
1. With its economy booming in the early nineties, Colombia was able to bring down its unemployment to just 8%, which in turn heavily reduced the influence of violent groups in the major cities of the country during the early 1990´s. The recession has hit these big urban areas badly, with unemployment in Bogota at 20% and in Cali to close to 23%. This has worsened, as a large portion of the money originating in drug trafficking is laundered through contraband imports into Colombia, fueling the violence, reducing state taxes, and further damaging employment in competing industries. Unemployment is thus impacting and destabilizing Colombia's cities and needs to be addressed through revitalization of industrial production.
2. During the last decade, Colombia opened its traditionally closed economy, expanding rapidly both exports and imports. However, its agricultural sector suffered heavily as its production of cereals, such as wheat, corn, and barley, and other products such as soy beans, cotton and sorghum, were shown to be uncompetitive in world markets. The result was the loss of 700,000 hectares of agricultural production to imports during the decade, which in turn proved to be a critical blow to employment in the rural areas where Colombia's conflict is mainly staged. The expected modernization of agriculture has been extremely slow, since the permanent crops that Colombia, as a tropical country, is competitive in require large investments and credit as they have an unproductive period of several years.
3. With no room for fiscal expansion, domestic and foreign private investment is crucial to recovery and the development of employment opportunities in licit enterprises. This new investment, however, is threatened by deteriorating investor confidence. Foreign investment, particularly, is not only necessary to help solve the continuing financing needs of the economy but is crucial in modernizing the industrial backbone of the country, thus speeding the alleviation of unemployment.
4. Colombia has developed a ten-year strategic plan to expand trade. This is vital to the economic development of Colombia and as a counterbalancing force to drug trafficking, as it would help to encourage private sector initiatives and to expand foreign and domestic investment in non-traditional sectors.
5. The Colombian plan involves developing trade intelligence on world demand and advancing regional and inter-regional integration under strategic guidelines. It also involves designing policies that bring together the industrial, agricultural and services sectors under trade policy, infrastructure building aimed at enhancing productivity, and supporting appropriate export-oriented technological innovation and human capital formation. In this effort the government will pay particular attention to fostering the role of small and medium enterprises in private sector job creation.
6. The plan also involves the implementation of measures that would serve to encourage foreign investment and further promote trade expansion. These include the completion of the necessary steps to comply with existing Uruguay Round agreements, especially those dealing with customs valuation, intellectual property protection, and investment measures, as well as implementing business facilitation measures proposed in the FTAA negotiations. In addition, Colombia will take steps to promote a favorable environment for electronic commerce, in order to create new business opportunities and to improve the competitiveness of existing businesses. Colombia also recognizes that transparency and due process in government procurement is an essential element in achieving greater efficiency in the use of public funds. Accordingly, Colombia is committed to work for the completion of an agreement on transparency in government procurement with the WTO.
7. Colombia looks to its major trading partners, including the United States, to expand Colombia's access to their markets for products for which it has a competitive advantage. The United States´ continued support for preferential market access is vital to economic development in Colombia and a counterbalancing force to drug trafficking, as it encourages private sector initiatives and helps to expand investment in non-traditional sectors creating jobs that would otherwise go to the drug trade or to the insurgent or illegal ¨self defense¨ groups. In particular, it would be very important at an early date to extend the duration of the ATPA, in order to reduce the uncertainty affecting both trade and investment. Also, the product coverage of ATPA should be extended to be comparable to that extended to other countries in the sub-region, especially those products under the CBI initiative.
8. Colombia and the United States can work jointly to negotiate a Bilateral Investment Treaty as a means of protecting U.S. and Colombian foreign investment and to move as soon as practical to negotiate "open skies" agreements to facilitate air freight and passenger services, for which Colombia will work to satisfy international air safety standards. Colombia will also explore greater use of World Bank/IDB resources, such as the IFC and MIGA, and will also seek more effective utilization of existing U.S. programs such as OPIC, EXIM, and TDA financing, to promote investment.
9. Colombia must open room for alternatives not only to illegal crops but also to crops which respond to the challenges of a modern agricultural sector. This would provide employment in the rural sector which is vital to the success of the overall strategy for peace and development. Colombia needs technical and financial assistance in the sanitary and phytosanitary area to reduce production costs, to encourage greater agribusiness development, and to further advances in biotechnological research and development. In this regard, Colombia will ensure that its regulatory regime for biotechnology products is transparent and efficient.
1. The Colombian Government has made the fight against drug production and trafficking one of its top strategic priorities. Narcotics is a threat not only to the internal security of the nation but also to people in both consumer and producer nations.
2. Drug trafficking, because of its huge profits and its destabilizing power, is one of the central factors generating violence throughout Colombia. For this reason the government must focus significant attention on this problem and is determined to combat narcotics, in terms of drug-trafficking, production, consumption and any other elements that support this illicit activity, which threatens the democratic institutions and the integrity of our nation.
3. The strenghthening of the police and the armed forces through its modernization, restructuring and professionalization is crucial to make them more capable of reestablishing the rule of law, restoring security to Colombians throughout the nation and halting the penetration of irregular groups and organized crime, especially those associated with drug trafficking.
4. The National Government of the Republic of Colombia is committed to implement a long-term National Counternarcotics strategy, an outline of which follows:
1. Military and police will base their conduct on preservation of democratic liberties and the defense of life, honor and property of citizens. The strategy will give priority to the promotion of respect for and protection of human rights of all persons residing in Colombia.
2. Behavior will be characterized by morality, virtue and honor and by the courage to confront the challenges imposed by the institutional mission.
1. The phenomenon of internal violence leads to instability caused by four violence-generating agents- groups or organizations which carry out aggressive actions leading to physical, psychological, economic, social and political violence: narcotrafficking organizations, subversive groups, illegal ¨self defense¨ groups and common criminals.
2. Although the guerrilla movements have their roots in Colombia's rural areas and, at least in part, in ideological confrontation, over time their fight to expand territorial control has been financed not only by squeezing money from citizens and economic activities, but at least 30% of their income now comes from charges placed on coca leaf and paste obtained from intermediaries in the growing areas.
3. The drug trade is now a destabilizing element in democratic society which provides inmense financial resources to illegal armed groups. Drug trafficking is the most important source of logistical support in exchange for protection of the cultivation, processing and trafficking of the product, by which in recent years these groups have enjoyed a notable increase in both manpower and arms.
4. Insurgents and illegal ¨self-defense¨ groups threaten the state by attempting control portions of national territory, by disrupting order throughout the country through raids, kidnappings, roadblocks and terrorist attacks. The traffickers depend on coca and opium poppy cultivation in remote areas beyond government control -especially in southern Colombia where there is a strong guerrilla presence. Much of the drug processing also occurs in the same geographic areas. As long as this independent source of drugs and revenue remains beyond enforcement powers, the insurgents, the illegal ¨self-defense¨ groups and the traffickers will only grow stronger and the state will face a greater threat.
1. National Mission: To ensure order, stability, and the rule of law; guarantee sovereignty over national territory; protect the State and the civilian population from threats posed by illegal armed groups and criminal organizations; break the links between the illegal armed groups and the criminal drug industry that supports them.
Over the next six years, the goal is to reduce the cultivation, processing and distribution of narcotics by 50%.
· Combat illicit cultivation through continuous and systematic action of both the military and police forces, especially in the Putumayo region and in Southern Colombia, and strengthen the erradication capacity of the Colombian National Police. Establish military control of the south for eradication. Destroy the processing structures and improve land, air, sea and river interdiction of drugs and illegal precursor chemicals. * Establish government control over key drug production areas.
· Strengthen the infrastructure of the Prosecutor's office, the courts and the public defenders. * Reinforce and train the corps of police investigators * Build up the group charged with fighting corruption and investigating civil servants * Reform the prison and jail system * Apply extradition laws * Obtain a proposal for oral trials in criminal cases and, in the meantime, draft regulations for the present criminal procedures for public trials * Strengthen the infraestructure of the prosecutor's office, the courts and the public defenders, especially the human rights units.
· Strengthen counter-smuggling efforts * Carry out a vigorous asset seizure program * Freeze and interdict bank accounts and assets inside and outside the country
· Increase security for citizens against kidnapping, extortion and terrorism
· Halt the acquisition of arms by those groups which profit from drug trafficking though a concerted international effort.
· Share information and intelligence with other security agencies in the country. * Contribute to and coordinate with regional and international operations and efforts
· Provide job opportunities and social services to people living in the cultivation zones * Promote public information campaigns on the dangers of illegal drugs
Develop an integrated effort by the armed forces and police aimed at striking the narcotics cultivation zones and at breaking up the armed, logistics and financial structures of the drug trade through a continuous and systematic effort in three phases, aimed at reducing cultivation and production by 50% over six years:
Phase 1: Short-range military, police and judicial effort aimed at Putumayo
and the south and planned for one year
Phase 2: Medium-range military, police, judicial and social effort aimed at the southeastern and central parts of the country, and planned for 2-3 years
Phase 3: Extend the integrated effort throughout the country over 3-6 years
Through its counterdrug policies, the government aims to combat through an integrated plan one of the violence-generating agents which contributes significantly to the high crime rate. Institutional priorities and responsibilities are the following:
All units of the armed forces should ensure the protection of democracy and human rights as a primary responsibility in the performance of its counterdrug missions. The armed forces will increase training in human rights before, during and after carrying out each phase. Protection of the civilian population requires an increased effort to fight the illegal ¨self-defense¨ groups in the drug growing and processing areas.
Role and mission of each force: The Ministry of Defense and the Department of Administrative Security (DAS ) will maintain their assigned priorities in the fight against the violence-generating agents, seeking to optimize results and achieve the following assigned objectives:
· Military Forces - priority: insurgents, illegal ¨self-defense¨ groups, drug trafficking and organized crime * National Police - priority: drug trafficking, organized crime and petty crime * DAS - priority: economic and financial crime against the State, illegally gained wealth of individuals and of insurgent groups
Counternarcotics operations will be planned and carried out jointly, developing the doctrine required for successful operations.
Tailor and equip units to meet threats to national security and reapportion forces as required to execute strategic plans - emphasizing offensive operations while maintaining essential defense requirements. Develop an operational plan; emphasize training; move toward a professional, predominantly volunteer force; and continue to improve the Colombian military judicial system.
The Armed Forces will increase the professionalization of elements employed in counternarcotics operations as part of a process of evolving toward a professional force.
Ministries and Institutions: The Ministry of the Interior and the Governors and Mayors will issue those decrees and resolutions necessary to restrict the traffic and movement of people, weapons and legal materials used in the processing of illegal drugs in the targeted areas at the request of the military or police commander.
Even though the fight against narcotrafficking is a primary activity for the State's police corps, the close link with illegal, armed groups has made the Military Forces dedicate itself to making a decided and committed contribution, in an integrated and cohesive form in the fight against this threat.
The Armed Forces and the Police have designed a series of actions that support these defined roles and responsibilities:
Develop an outreach campaign in an independent form by phases and areas that support the goals of the strategic objectives. A special effort to sensitize our own troops in the reaffirmation of the values, ethics, and the respect for Human Rights. Sensitivity action towards the civil population in support of operational plans and alternative development. Desertion campaign aimed at members of armed groups and narcotraffickers to re-integrate into society.
Consolidate control over national air space by all means necessary. Dissuasion of the use of the airspace (intelligence from all agencies, Air Force). Increase the operational range of the Colombian Air Force for interdiction. Supply additional help for the interdiction with the end result being the incremental increase in the rhythm of the operations and expansion of geographic coverage. Improve the air interdiction program with emphasis on eastern Colombia.
Increase and improve the operational support for the Navy and the Marines.
Improve the efforts to control the importation of precursor chemicals. Interdiction of precursor chemicals in air, marine, river and ground (Army, Infamar, Air Force, Police). Improve the controls to intercept the ground movement of drugs by the CNP, in ports and airports.
Increase the employment of combined operations with the CNP. Strengthen the combined efforts between Colombia and the United States. Improve the protection of our own forces. Integrate the forces in intelligence collection and analysis. Increase the number of troops in operations. Increase mobility with emphasis on airmobile and riverine operations in the jungle. Improve the capacity of the units to conduct combined night operations.
Destroy the processing infrastructure. (Intelligence, Army, Infarnar, Air Force, National Police). Combat the armed protectors of the narcotraffickers. (Army, Infarnar, Air Force). Increase the ability of the CNP and the Armed Forces to detect laboratories. Augment the means to destroy the infrastructure. Reduce the capability of commercializing precursor materials and drugs. (Intelligence, Police, Navy, Army, Air Force).
Strengthen and increase the employment of combined security operations during fumigation and erradication operations. Support the new strategies under the United Nations International Drug Control Program, to test and develop environmentally safe and reliable biological control agents, thereby providing new erradication technologies .
The purpose of this strategy is to strengthen the fight against narcotrafficking by bringing all elements of the Police and Armed Forces to bear against the traffickers. The goal is to eliminate large-scale drug production, end large-scale violence and lawlessness by organized armed groups, promote respect for human rights and break the link between armed groups and their narcotics industry support.
1. Colombia is committed to continue to build a fair and effective justice system. Judicial sector reform will ensure a transparent, fair, accessible and independent system. Effective reform is a key element in restoring public confidence in civil society.
2. Dealing with the traffickers and the culture of violence, corruption and lawlessness they support involves the entire criminal justice system. Particularly the trafficking of cocaine, heroin and other drugs threaten every aspect of civil society and these strategies respond accordingly.
3. These issues cut across Colombian agencies - even across separate branches of Government. The Executive Branch will work closely with the Legislative and Judicial branches to ensure effective coordination and implementation of these strategies.
1. Narcotics trafficking is a transnational crime that has domestic and international consequences. Colombia will investigate, prosecute and appropriately sentence major narcotics traffickers and related criminals. Criminals must be incarcerated in secure prisons so they cannot continue their crimes from jail. International criminals - who have broken other nations' laws - must be, in accordance to Colombian laws, extradited to be judged in the jurisdictions where the evidence of the violations has been collected and in the communities they have harmed. The Government will ensure that expanded counternarcotics and counter-insurgency efforts will not be undertaken at the expense of protection of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
2. In order to address this priority Colombia will: strengthen domestic and multilateral law enforcement initiatives, including a) multilateral investigations and joint training, and b) effective protection for witnesses and judicial officials; extradite international criminals in accordance with domestic and international law; improve the prison system to meet international standards for security, including adequate facilities and a well-trained and professional corrections staff; and expand multilateral initiatives to control and interdict illicit flows of chemical precursors, including potassium permanganate.
3. The unacceptably high rates of kidnapping and violent street crime, in many cases related to or a product of narcotics trafficking, must be reduced to restore the public's sense of security and well being.
4. Strategies to address this priority include: develop anti-violence programs throughout the country involving law enforcement, judicial and community leaders with emphasis on narcotics related crime; develop, train and equip an anti-kidnapping unit to investigate and prosecute kidnapping crimes.
1. Combating money laundering and forfeiting illegal profits from traffickers (estimated at more than a billion dollars) can support law enforcement and demand reduction as well as other social initiatives (including land reform, alternative development, and the strengthening of civil institutions) critical to a lasting peace.
2. Strategies to address this priority include: effectively implement existing asset forfeiture legislation and make necessary adjustments to expeditiously forfeit properties seized from criminals; strengthen existing law and institutions to fight money laundering, including the Fiscalia AFML Specialized Unit and the Financial Information and Analysis Unit; ensure coordination among national and international authorities to secure effective information sharing and prosecution; break the financial link between narcotics traffickers, the insurgency and paramilitaries through effective law enforcement programs and multilateral coordination; prosecutors, investigators and customs officials and their international counterparts should target and continue to coordinate efforts to dismantle the black market peso exchange process; complete the development of mechanisms to share assets forfeited in multilateral law enforcement efforts in accordance with international law.
3. The Government of Colombia will move as quickly as possible to complete the formal expropriation of assets, especially land, that has been seized from convicted narcotraffickers. This land will be used, among other things, for the resettlement of small farmers and landless laborers leaving the coca- producing areas as well as those families displaced by rural violence.
1. Colombia is committed to respect the rule of law and will continue to strengthen all aspects of the judicial system, including fostering the continuing transition to an accusatory system (including oral trials and effective investigations), speeding the movement of cases through the judicial process, ensuring access to justice throughout the nation regardless of geographic location or income. The Government of Colombia will provide leadership to make the judicial system more effective, transparent, fair and accessible.
2. To make the judicial system more effective, the government of Colombia will seek to reduce impunity through improved prosecution, more effective investigations and speedier trials. Ensure effective justice sector coordination, including open communication and effective policy implementation among the different branches and offices of the state responsible for judicial reform and administration; expand training for judicial sector officials, including judges, public defenders and prosecutors to ensure openness to public scrutiny and just outcomes in all cases, including military cases under civilian jurisdiction; implement a core curriculum for judicial police investigators through a single judicial police training academy; ensure public access country-wide to justice services and a fair defense.
1. A crucial element to eliminate narcotics trafficking is to close the transportation routes for drugs, precursor chemicals and contraband (which often represents the repatriation of narcotics proceeds). This requires a coordinated effort at all of Colombia's ports of entry and borders.
2. Strategies to address this priority include: coordinate effective maritime enforcement, including joint efforts between the Colombian Navy, the Attorney General and international counterparts to seize narcotics and chemicals and effectively prosecute violators; strengthen and expand existing port security programs to include all national ports of entry; improve information sharing with international counterparts on suspected offenders, routes and shipment trends; fully equip and train a Customs Police service to ensure effective airport and marine port control; strengthen international cooperation to fight contraband; work closely with other Governments, so that the private sector commits itself to develop effective measures to control and prevent contraband, by implementing a "know your client" policy, and better knowing their client´s practices.
1. Narcotics proceeds have corrupted officials in all branches of Government and eroded public confidence in civil institutions. Colombia will continue its efforts to fight corruption and ensure that violators are subjected to administrative or criminal sanctions, as appropriate.
2. This will be done by: building upon existing initiatives, including the Presidential Program Against Corruption and the Fiscal´s Specialized Anti-Corruption Unit; implementing effective financial disclosure and rigorous pre-employment and in-service integrity checks;
3. The Government of Colombia will work through the Presidential Program Against Corruption and the Comptroller General to increase the transparency of government procurement actions and financial transfers to local governments.
Colombia is often seen as a producer of illegal drugs but consumption is rapidly increasing among its population. The task of prevention of the consumption of illegal drugs is directed primarily at the young, and is designed to discourage them from starting to consume illicit drugs and to control the abuse of alcohol, tobacco and addictive medicaments. The treatment and rehabilitation networks will also be increased to reach many people who have no access today.
1. The general objective of this strategy is to reduce the causes and manifestations of violence, progressively and systematically, by strengthening social participation and collective consciousness-raising. This strategy aims at more accountable local governments, community involvement in anti-corruption efforts and in continuing to put pressure on insurgent and other armed groups to end kidnapping, violence and internal displacement of citizens and communities. Also, the strategy builds on social participation to generate economic, social and cultural conditions to make the erradication of illicit crops viable in peasant-economy areas and indigenous reserves.
1. The Colombian government has assumed, under the coordination of the office of the Vice President, a total commitment to the protection and realization of those fundamental rights which transcend internal laws, since Colombia is a party to numerous multilateral treaties and pacts.
2. The government is complying with the following actions: spreading a deeper understanding of human rights through the media, and applying a educational model for use in the Armed Forces, supporting politically and materially the work of the human rights units of the different institutions as well as in training journalists in human rights and International Humanitarian Law. At the same time, the government is working in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia.
3. A strategy to fight against impunity, to harbor support for various inter-institutional committees that have been created in the last year and that work to push for the investigations and sanctions regarding the most severe cases of human rights abuse. In the same way, the government will have established by the end of this year a Permanent National Commission on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, and has presented to the Colombian Congress bills with respect to missing persons and crimes against humanity, and ratification of the International Penal Court.
4. A strategy to protect those who work in defense of human rights, through the support of the Witnesses and Threatened Persons Program, and a Presidential order that requires all public functionaries to protect human rights workers and to support their work and those of NGOs throughout the country.
1. Actions directed, as the first order, to helping those who are displaced to return home, and, in the second place, to guarantee stability through social investment and productive programs in these areas. The Government's strategy for attention to displaced persons will be closely coordinated with the peace process and the overall effort at increasing local government capacity. Attention to displaced persons will be undertaken primarily by municipal governments and Colombian NGOs under the leadership of the Red de Solidaridad Social. The Government of Colombia will also invite the participation of international organizations at the municipal level as a means of mobilizing additional resources as well as to establish independent verification of the local situation.
2. According to the outlines of the Governing Principles of the internal displacement, the Government's action seeks to neutralize the causes that lead to displacement by improving security in those areas of highest incident. In conflictive areas, the Government will establish an early warning system to detect imminent violence and permit an appropriate response.In the cases where it is not possible to prevent displacement, the government will look to strengthen its abilities to address local needs.
3. Develop special measures to guarantee that, each time a person is displaced, his or her rights will be protected, while establishing minimum standards for emergency humanitarian assistance with respect to water and hygene, nutrition, health and shelter, taking into account the various needs of different age groups, with special attention given to children, women and ethnic minorities. Wherever feasible, the Government of Colombia will promote Communities of Peace to which displaced persons can return and where delivery of social services and public security can be facilitated.
1. The Colombian policy for the voluntary abandonment of illicit crops by small farmers (less than 3 hectares in production) and plantation laborers is driven by the proximity of the producing area to potential markets, the origin of the people producing the illicit crop, and the agricultural potential of the land where illicit crops are being grown.
2. In the poppy-producing areas, as well as approximately one third of coca-producing areas, it is generally feasible to substitute one or more agricultural crops for the illicit production of small farmers. In these areas, producers will be encouraged to abandon illicit production in return for assistance in establishing profitable legal crops, provision of education and health services, improved municipal infrastructure, and public security. Municipal governments, the private sector, and Colombian NGOs will work with the Government of Colombia in the establishment of sustainable crops and to strengthen the links between producers and local and urban markets.
3. It is estimated that as much as 60 percent of the coca-producing areas are far from potential markets and in areas that are poorly suited to any sort of sustained agricultural production. To offer legal income opportunities to small farmers and laborers in such areas, the Colombian Government envisions three possible responses: First, farmers and others with an agricultural vocation will be offerred the opportunity to move from the coca-producing areas and resettled on land that has been seized from narcotics traffickers or provided by the land reform institute, INCORA; second, economic opportunities in small- and micro-enterprise will be offered in the urban areas of origin for migrant coca farmers, to remove the economic incentive for that migration; third, the Colombian Government will work with indigenous groups and local governments to launch economically feasible environmental protection activities that conserve the forested areas in an effort to slow the advance of the agricultural frontier into inappropriate areas. The conservation and protection effort will also generate employment for some former coca farmers.
4. The estimated cost of the National Alternative Development Plan for 2000-2003 is $500 million. Of this, $350 million will be for technology transfer and productive enterprises, $100 million for infrastructure development in rural areas, and $50 million for conservation and restoration of environmentally fragile areas.
1. The armed conflict affects the natural habitat, as does the expansion of agriculture and, most notably, illegal crops, which have destroyed close to one million hectares of forest between 1974 and 1998. These zones include a high percentage of conservation areas and national parklands, and there is ample evidence that this process of expansion poses a serious threat to the vital Amazon Delta.
2. Actions to confront this problem include restoring certain areas as national parklands, while also recovering forestlands1 which, it is hoped, will contribute to the global objectives to preserve the Amazon Delta, as noted at the Convention of Climactic Change, with respect to the absorption of CO2.
3. Moreover, the government will help the move away from unsustainable products towards those more amenable to local and regional conditions, strengthened by other experiences with more sustainable products.
4. Finally, to support the small reforestation in the primary transformation of wood and non-wood products in the forest, to consolidate green markets that generate possibilities for local businesses.
1. Citizens expect security, order, employment, basic services and a brighter future for their children. National programs such as those in alternative development, environmental protection, displaced persons and assistance to conflict zones aim to help fulfill these expectations, thereby reducing incentives for residents to move or to produce illicit crops. Local communities and municipalities play a critical role in helping national programs reach Colombia's citizens.
2. Strengthening local governments' capacities to develop and carry out national social investment programs, work with local non-governmental organizations and businesses in solving local problems and account for their performance is central to Colombia's social investment and alternative development strategy.
3. The Government of Colombia will work through the Red de Solidaridad Social, Ministries, and NGOs to increasingly provide municipal governments with the technical abilities to manage funds and carry out activities aimed at displaced persons, alternative development and poverty alleviation. Up to 150 communities, in areas where conflictive situations or illicit crop production have disrupted the provision of basic services, caused environmental degradation or where there is the highest incidence of poverty, will be selected over a period of two years to participate in a local government strengthening program. Local government leaders will be trained in governance skills. Further, the local governments will be trained to develop mechanisms to promote public participation in the decision making process and in resolving social and economic problems. With this training local leaders will be able to prioritize community needs, design and implement priority initiatives to meet basic service needs and utilize resources available in the most effective manner.
4. To maximize the effectiveness, local governments will work in partnership with the national government as well as local businesses and non-governmental organizations. Municipal governments will be encouraged to invest both local revenue and revenue from the National Treasury in conjunction with donor funds to support local organizations in addressing priority needs. The Government of Colombia will also invite the participation of international organizations at the municipal level as a means of mobilizing additional resources as well as establishing a means of independent verification of the local situation.
1. The armed conflict been waged in Colombia for more than thirty-five years. This Administration has initiated a process that aims at a negotiated peace agreement with the insurgency on the basis of territorial integrity, democracy and human rights, and which, if successful, would rapidly strengthen the rule of law and the fight against drugs throughout the country.
2. The peace process is one of the country's top priorities. President Pastrana has assumed personal leadership of the government's role, along with the assistance of the High Commissioner for Peace, appointed directly by the President. The Commissioner, whose position carries ministerial rank, works alongside economic and social leaders who are equally devoting their energies to ending the conflict.
3. The purpose of the distension zone, an instrument created by law 418 of 1997, is to guarantee the security necessary to advance negotiations with the insurgency. Within its powers the President can create as well as eliminate a distension zone, thereby making a reaffirmation of sovereignty by the State. It implies only the restriction of the presence of the Colombian armed forces and Police within the area and the suspension of warrants for arrest, without affecting the power of elected officials both at local and regional levels.
4. The distension zone created for the negotiations with the FARC is a sparsely populated area accounting for 0.25 percent of the Colombian population. Its historically low number of inhabitants is due to the fact that the territory is either mountanous or infertile grasslands and jungle. Given the temporary character of the distension zone, its duration is related to the advancement of the negotiations, without the possibility of interfering with free local elections. The National Government has created and directly pays for a civil police force which supports the mayors in each of the municipalities.
5. The peace process is also part of a grand alliance against narco-trafficking, corruption, and the violation of human rights, as part of the government's resumption as the sole guarantor of law and order. For this to become both feasible and lasting, it requires complimentary support in the areas of security and defense, as well as a partnership against drug production and consumption and a development plan to create jobs and reach those most in need.
1. There are three main protagonists of the conflict. On the side of the guerrillas, there is the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), and the ELN (Army of National Liberation), whose roots lie in rural agricultural and the cold-war, respectively. On the other side there are the illegal ¨self defense¨ groups, who seek an armed end to all guerrilla activities and political recognition for their organization. Finally, caught in the crossfire, are the great majority of Colombians, who often suffer at the hands of the other players.
2. The guerrilla movement has its roots in the traditional rural and political problems of Colombia and, also in part, in ideological capitalist-communist confrontation. With time, its fight to extend its territorial presence as a means to aquire military and political power has been financed by extortion and kidnappings, and more recently, from charges placed on coca leaf and paste obtained from intermediaries in the growing areas.
3. In the past thirty years Colombia moved from being a primarily rural country to an urban population, with more than seventy percent of its population in now in urban areas. With the end of the cold war, the public support that the insurgency had during the 1960´s, 70´s and 80´s has dimished to the point that the polls today show only a 4 percent backing. The guerrillas understand that, under the circumstances, they will not be able to take power by way of an armed struggle. Despite the country's rejection of their ideology and, particularly, their methods, they continue to seek leverage through military means.
4. The peace process has been set up to allow society as a whole to play a central role. On the one hand they can put pressure on armed groups for a political solution to the conflict and respect for their internationally recognized humanitarian rights (IHR). On the other hand, they can present ideas and suggestions to help move the process along, and which can serve as a basis for future negotiations. More specifically, there is a consensus regarding the necessity to reach a negotiated settlement to the conflict, to have a broad agenda, and to welcome the participation of the international community.
1. The peace process has made real advances on several fronts. With the FARC, a distension zone was created as a safe haven for negotiations, and has helped both parties to formulate an agenda, a process which was completed by last May The government and the FARC have agreed on a commission to accompany the process, but its implementation.has had problems. The process has stalled on that point but is hoped that an agreement on the commission will be reached soon.
2. With the ELN, the government has authorized a group of well-known Colombians to facilitate the liberation of the hostages, and has agreed to initiate, immediately after their liberation, direct dialogues that will permit a formula to call for a National Convention.
3. In the case of the illegal ¨self defense¨ groups, the government continues to fight them, although this does not imply that, with the advancement of the peace process, it is not ready to look for alternative peaceful ways that will dismantle their infrastructure and operations.
4. During the peace process, the Armed Forces and the Police must continue to strengthen themselves, in order to maintain an effective presence throughout the country.
1. The role of the international community is vital to the success of the peace process. More specifically, Colombia requires support in two areas: diplomatic and financial The international community can act as moderator, mediator, overseer or, at a later stage, verifier of the process. In addition, it is very important that they energetically reject any and all terrorist actions and violations of IHR, and to apply pressure to keep the process moving.
2. In the field of bilateral cooperation, military and police cooperation stand out. Collective action by neighboring countries is not only less effective than bilateral action, but it can serve to obstruct the negotiating process. In this sense, to coordinate military and police operations and to improve border security, technological and equipment support would be of enormous benefit.
3. Referring to diplomatic action by neighboring countries, at the present stage, the Colombian government prefers bilateral dialogue and confidential consultations with countries interested in the process. Whatever form of international participation in the peace process takes, it must conform to norms established by international law and be acceptable to the Colombian government. It must adhere strictly to the principles of non-intervention and non- interference with respect to internal affairs of state, and must be undertaken after consultation with, and the support of, the Colombian government.
4. The Colombian government has set up a fund as a means of channeling international financial assistance directly to the peace process. This fund will be able to support projects designed to provide economic and social development to those areas hardest hit by the armed conflict. For this purpose a consulting group has, with the support of the IDB, been set to receive contributions made by various countries. These resources will be used to supplement those funds already allocated by the Colombian government.
5. A successful peace process will also have a positive impact on counterdrug efforts as the Government of Colombia will be able to expand law enforcement and alternative development programs to those areas most involved in drug production. The insurgency and drug-trafficking are problems which, though linked in certain ways, have distinct origins and different objectives. The guerrillas operate under a revolutionary political-military scheme that demands a negotiated solution-something that can never be accorded to narco-traffickers.
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