Security & Strategic Review - February 2022

COLOMBIA: Police reform clears congress

The conduct of Colombia’s national police, which garnered global condemnation for its response to the social unrest that swept the country between April and June last year, was the subject of a police reform bill approved by congress on 13 December. The reform offered few surprises, but introduces a stricter disciplinary code for the police and creates a new position of ‘inspector general for public protests’, which will be tasked with implementing new strategies to avoid human rights violations during civil unrest. Although the reform may go some way to restoring the police’s tarnished image, the government faced renewed criticism a week later after congress approved a bill widely seen as targeting protesters with tougher sentences and, according to civil society organisations, providing legal cover for paramilitary violence.

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