Are private military contractors employed and if so, are they subject to a similar level of scrutiny as for the armed forces?
Colombia score: NS/100
The government imposes no restrictions on the use of private military contractors and intermediaries.
There are some controls over the use of private military contractors, but no clear policy. The legal standard applicable to PMCs varies considerably from standards applied to state representatives in the same roles. Corruption-related offences may be weak or poorly defined in relation to PMCs.
There is a policy on the use of private military contractors, but it does not specify particular preventive measures. The legal standard applicable to PMCs does not vary widely from standards applied to state representatives in the same roles, but corruption-related offences may be weak or poorly defined in relation to PMCs.
There is a clear policy on the use of private military contractors. The contracting state requires preventive measures whereby PMCs have anti-corruption programmes and training tailored to their role in operations. The legal standard applicable to PMCs does not vary widely from standards applied to state representatives in the same roles, and it criminalises corruption-related offences for PMCs.
The use of private military contractors is forbidden by law or the law may allow them to be employed in extremely limited circumstances which do not expose them to risk of corruption. The legal standard applicable to PMCs does not vary widely from standards applied to state representatives in the same roles, and it criminalises corruption-related offences for PMCs.
This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. There is evidence of the presence of private military contractors conducting legal and illegal military operations in the interior of the country for more than 20 years.  According to López,  in the 80s and 90s some private security companies were identified that contracted with paramilitary groups and/or drug traffickers. The objective was to carry out military training to combat guerrilla groups and maintain illicit businesses. López found that “the main reason why paramilitaries and drug traffickers hire CMP is because they are in an ongoing armed conflict against which they cannot fight militarily, nor can they request the protection of the State, so they need training help and support in the supply of weapons.”  It is also evident that private companies directly linked to the extraction of natural resources in Colombia hired these military companies to protect facilities from guerrilla attacks.  In the 1990s, the Colombian State consolidated a process of cooperation with the United States through Plan Colombia to eradicate drug trafficking in the country. This controversial initiative consisted of military and diplomatic aid to fight leftist guerrilla groups and drug cartels, for which CMPs from the United States were hired.  To carry out this plan, agreements were signed between the two countries, defining a number of military and civilian contractors that would participate in said policy. The process began in 2000 with the arrival of 500 soldiers and 300 civilian contractors. In 2004, the cap was violated and 800 soldiers and 600 contractors arrived, although in 2001 in Colombia there were around 1,000 people between the military and contractors, and in 2009 an agreement was reached to allow the installation of seven military bases.  Currently, and according to the Base Structure Report,  the United States Army has one military building remaining in Colombia, but it does not report the number of military and/or civilians serving in the country. The Colombian State does not have effective control of the military and civilian personnel in the country, nor of the scope of its operations on the ground, according to reports. [1,3] As such, there are no official records on violations of International Humanitarian Law, human rights, or corruption related to the CMPs, which makes it difficult to define and measure the responsibility for their actions. “The main factors for this lack of recognition is that the CMPs are not recognized by the Colombian government as an actor related to the conflict and very few civil society or human rights organisations are aware of their influence and, on the other hand, the victim registry does not identify the victims produced by the CMPs” according to reports.  There is a lack of legislation regulating actions of the CMPs on topics such as: the type of service contracted, the definition of the contracting process, the selection protocols, the conditions of the contracts, and the supervision and definition of responsibilities of these actors in the framework of the accompanying military operations. The cooperation of the United States with the Colombian Government remains post-conflict. Cooperation has expanded to include a financial support fund, strengthening of local governments, substitution of illicit crops, assistance to victims of the conflict, etc.; international narcotics control and law enforcement programs to deliver resources to the Military Forces and the Police for the fight against drug trafficking; organised transnational anti-drug and anti-crime programs including intelligence support, equipment improvement, and facility construction; a military financing program for military engineer units for projects in rural areas; an anti-proliferation, anti-terrorism, and de-mining program in former conflict zones; and the international military training and education program.  Given the above, a policy regarding the use of CMP is evident, but does not specify prevention measures.
1. Revista Semana. 2019. “Militares gringos en Colombia: así han hecho presencia durante 20 años.” [“Gringo soldiers in Colombia: this is how they have been present for 20 years.”] 29 January. Accessed on: 16 May 2019. https://www.semana.com/nacion/articulo/asi-han-sido-20-anos-de-presencia-militar-gringa-en-colombia/599604.
2. López, N. 2016. “La privatización de la guerra en Colombia.” [“The privatisation of the war in Colombia.”] 51-57. Inciso 18.
3. NOVACT. 2016. The Invisible Force. A comparative study of the use of private military and security companies in Iraq, Occupied Palestinian Territories and Colombia. Lessons for international regulation. En CASE STUDY: PMSCs IN COLOMBIA, de NOVACT, 49-63. International Institute for Nonviolent.
4. Departament of defense United State of America. 2018. BASE STRUCTURE REPORT – FISCAL YEAR 2018 BASELINE. Accessed on: 16 May 2019. https://www.acq.osd.mil/eie/Downloads/BSI/Base%20Structure%20Report%20FY18.pdf.
5. Rojas, D. M. 2017. “Estados Unidos en la Construcción de la paz en Colombia.” [“United States in the Construction of peace in Colombia.”] Análisis político nº 91, Bogotá, septiembre-diciembre 37-52.
Colombia score: NS/100
PMCs are not subject to any form of scrutiny.
There are no clear provisions for oversight of PMCs. PMCs may be subject to some scrutiny, but it is frequently weak.
Laws of the contracting state contains provisions for oversight of PMCs but these laws may be weak, or scrutiny is not undertaken in a meaningful way.
Laws of the contracting state contain clear provisions for oversight of PMCs. PMCs are subject to scrutiny but this may be reactive.
Laws of the contracting state contain clear provisions for oversight of PMCs. Active scrutiny is conducted by the relevant oversight bodies such as the parliament.
This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. The relevant legislation for the supervision of the CMPs is stipulated in Decree 356 of 1994 which lays down the statute for the provision of private security and surveillance services by individuals.  There is also a Decree no. 2355 of 2006 which structures the Superintendency of Surveillance and Private Security as a national, technical, and affiliated body to the Ministry of Defence, which will be in charge of carrying out inspection, surveillance, and control actions of the undertakings providing such services. This entity regulates and authorizes, advises, and coordinates, informs, instructs, inspects, investigates, and sanctions, as well as conducting administrative processes to companies that provide surveillance and private security services.  According to Interviewee 5,  since the creation of this entity the main role that it has played has been in the implementation of administrative procedures for obtaining licenses for the bearing of arms or for the creation of private security companies. Interviewee 5 states that these procedures are not developed in a thorough way, since the individuals and companies that request licenses for the bearing of weapons are not evaluated in depth.  In column of the magazine Semana, María Jimena Duzán reports that the Superintendency of Surveillance and Private Security had been investigated for cases of bribes in exchange for licenses ranging from armor to operating permits for surveillance companies.  Since 2009 an attempt has been made to reform the current regulations of the Superintendency of Security and Surveillance, but this has not succeeded.
1. Ministerio de Defensa Nacional. 1994. “Decreto Ley 356, por el cual se expide el Estatuto de Vigilancia y Seguridad Privada.” [“Decree law 356, by which the Statute of Private Security and Surveillance is issued.”] Bogotá: Diario Oficial No 41.220, de 11 de febrero de 1994. 11 February.
2. Decree 2355 of 2006 on “Structure of Superintendency on Monitoring and Private Security.” https://diario-oficial.vlex.com.co/vid/decreto-2355-43239190
3. Supervigilancia. n.d. Preguntas frecuentes supervigilancia. [Surveillance FAQ.] Accessed on: 17 May 2019. https://www.supervigilancia.gov.co/publicaciones/6338/preguntas-frecuentes-supervigilancia/.
4. Entrevista 5. [Interview 5.] Entrevista de M. E. Rugel. 2019. Instituto de Estudios del Ministerio Público- Procuraduría General de la Nación [Institute of Studies of the Public Ministry- Office of the Attorney General of the Nation.] 7 May.
5. Duzán, M. J. 2019. “Yo me vigilio.” [“I watch myself.”] Revista semana. 8 June. Accessed on: 13 June 2019. https://www.semana.com/opinion/articulo/yo-me-vigilo-por-maria-jimena-duzan/618994.
Colombia score: NS/100
Policies and laws on the use of private military contractors are regularly violated, with almost no sanctions applied.
Policies and laws on the use of PMCs are frequently violated, but sanctions are usually applied.
Policies and laws on the use of PMCs are occasionally violated, and when they are, sanctions are usually applied.
Policies and laws on the use of PMCs are rarely violated, but when they are, sanctions are usually applied.
Policies and laws on the use of PMCs are rarely violated, and when they are, sanctions are regularly applied.
This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI. With regard to the application of the legislation relating to the use of CMPCs, it is clear that there is a frequent breakdown of such legislation in Colombia. In 2019, the Superintendent of Surveillance reported that in Colombia there are 800 companies operating throughout the country, at least 200 of which are illegal (30%).  Those that are operating illegally do not pay policies, they do not guarantee training to their employees, or labor rights. The Superintendent stated that 120 sanctions have been imposed to date, but for these to have the desired impact it is necessary for contractors and service providers to comply with fees and licenses.  Another of the non-regulatory scandals and the low application of effective sanctioans is related to sanctions imposed on the “private security cartel” in 2017, during which time companies pretended to be to procure contracts, but in reality they all belonged to the same business group called SMG, generating anti-competitive practices. The sanctions imposed by the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce amounted to $14 billion pesos. This sanction generated controversy in public opinion, since no disqualification of the contract was contemplated, so fines were simply one more cost to the business. [2, 3] The Superintendency of Surveillance compiles a list of companies registered for the manufacture, marketing, import, lease, and installation of private security equipment, but it gives only the social reason, economic activity, management, and the city where the company islocated located, not sanctions, contracts, amounts contracted, or any other aspects of regulation and control. 
1. Periódico el Espectador. 2019. “30% de las empresas de vigilancia privada son ilegales.” [“30% of private surveillance companies are illegal.”] Supervigilancia. 10 March. Accessed on: 17 May 2019. https://www.elespectador.com/noticias/nacional/30-de-las-empresas-de-vigilancia-privada-son-ilegales-supervigilancia-articulo-844141.
2. Periódico El Espectador. 2018. “Superindustria ratifica sanciones a varias empresas de seguridad privada.” [“Superindustry ratifies sanctions against several private security companies.”] 30 January. Accessed on: 17 May 2019. https://www.elespectador.com/economia/superindustria-ratifica-sanciones-varias-empresas-de-seguridad-privada-articulo-736243.
3. Periódico El Espectador. 2017. “Cartel de la seguridad privada podría seguir recibiendo contratos estatales.” [“Private security cartel could continue receiving state contracts.”] 14 June. Accessed on: 17 May 2019. https://www.elespectador.com/economia/cartel-de-la-seguridad-privada-podria-seguir-recibiendo-contratos-estatales-articulo-698399.
4. Supervigilancia. 2019. Servicios autorizados. [Authorized services.] 24 April. Accessed on: 13 June 2019. https://www.supervigilancia.gov.co/publicaciones/5534/servicios-autorizados/.
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|Country||56a. Policies||56b. Scrutiny||56c. Enforcement|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||NS||NS||NS|
|United Arab Emirates||NS||NS||NS|