Organizing the Return of Government to Conflict Zones, Colombia, 2004-2009
Focus: Getting the News Out/Managing Expectations, Civil Service, Accountable Policing
Topics: Extending services to insecure or remote areas, One-Stop Shops, Non-state security actors
Type: Case Studies
Author: Matthew Devlin, Sebastian Chaskel
Keywords: CCAI, Colombia, policing, service delivery, managing expectations
In May 2004, Colombia’s Office of the Presidency established a national-level agency, the Centro de Coordinación de Acción Integral, to manage the reintroduction of state institutions into areas that had been retaken from leftist guerrillas, right-wing paramilitaries and drug traffickers. The agency set up a central Bogotá office from which it coordinated work in so-called consolidation zones around the country. In many of these areas, the government had either been absent for decades or never present. In the words of Andres Peñate, former vice minister of defense and an architect of the initiative, “Although we were all Colombians, it was almost like conquering a different country.” Despite setbacks, by late 2009 the agency had received broad-based domestic and international endorsement.