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Security & Strategic Review - October 2020

COLOMBIA: Popular protests revive police reform debate

A historic ruling issued by Colombia’s supreme court (CSJ) on 22 September condemned the “systematic, violent, and arbitrary intervention of the Fuerza Pública in demonstrations and protests”. The Fuerza Pública refers to Colombia’s state security forces – the army, the navy, the air force, and, unusually, the national police. A legacy of military dictatorship in the 1950s, left unchanged because of the decades-long armed conflict that followed, Colombia is one of relatively few countries in the world with a single, unitary national police force, run by the defence ministry and ultimately loyal to the president, as commander-in-chief.

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