• Connect with us on Linkedin

Colombia to Invest 'Unprecedented' $2.3 Billion in Citizen Security

Santos speaks at citizen security conference Santos speaks at citizen security conference

The Colombian government plans to invest a total of $2.3 billion in citizen security for the 2012 to 2015 period, highlighting how localized criminal operations are gaining ground on international drug trafficking as the country's primary security threat.

Linkedin
Google +

President Juan Manuel Santos called the funding, which amounts to 2.4% of the country's 2013 national budget, an "unprecedented investment" aimed at improving citizen security. The scheme -- which will be managed by both the national government and 24 municipal governments -- includes the creation of integrated security plans for the participating municipalities and the addition of 25,000 police to the national force, of which 10,000 have already joined.

The president said efforts so far have resulted in a 19 percent reduction in violent deaths and the reduction of robbery by 38 percent for residences, 25 percent for shops, 16 percent for vehicles and 10 percent for individuals, reported El Colombiano

Also included in the budget is an ongoing initiative targeting micro-trafficking -- street level drug dealing -- as well as a new offensive announced by Santos to tackle contraband smuggling, which he said would see a "frontal assault" targeting groups involved in the trade and the legitimate businesses that support it. 

InSight Crime Analysis

Santos' budget announcement followed shortly after the murder of a US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent in Bogota by assailants believed to have been attempting an express kidnapping. The murder, thought to be connected to a local criminal network of thieves, put the issue of citizen security front and center.

Earlier in June, Colombia's national police chief announced police took down 786 criminal gangs in 2012 and stated that ongoing operations to counter micro-trafficking have been 92 percent effective thus far. Though these numbers were framed as successes, they also highlight the proliferation of small-scale organized criminal activity in Colombia, which has been fuelled by the fragmentation of larger criminal organizations.

Small criminal networks often do not operate in isolation. In June, one Colombian official called contraband trafficking a "national security phenomenon" after contraband networks believed to launder money for the FARC were linked to the murder of an official from the country's tax and customs police (DIAN). Micro-traffickers similarly have connections with larger criminal groups such as the Urabeños, who serve as wholesalers or take a cut of profits.

Linkedin
Google +

---

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We also encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, provided that it is attributed to InSight Crime in the byline, with a link to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

InSight Crime Search

The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas

InSight Crime Social

facebooktwittergooglelinkedin

Most Read

El Salvador Tax Probe Tightens Noose Around Texis Cartel Leader

El Salvador Tax Probe Tightens Noose Around Texis Cartel Leader

As part of a tax evasion investigation, El Salvador prosecutors have seized documents and searched properties belonging to Texis Cartel leader "El Chepe Diablo" and two key business partners, in a sign that the elusive...

Read more

The Narco of Narcos: Fugitive Mexican Drug Lord Rafael Caro Quintero

The Narco of Narcos: Fugitive Mexican Drug Lord Rafael Caro Quintero

The release of Rafael Caro Quintero from a Mexican prison in August 2013 was a blow to US-Mexico relations, the reputation of the Mexican justice system, and the drug war.

Read more

Mexico Cartel Had Stake in 7 Tn Colombia Cocaine Load

Mexico Cartel Had Stake in 7 Tn Colombia Cocaine Load

More details have emerged on the transport and seizure of a record seven tons of cocaine at the Colombian port of Cartagena, revealing that the shipment, bound for Europe, also involved Mexican cartels.

Read more