Is there policing to investigate corruption and organised crime within the defence services and is there evidence of the effectiveness of this policing?
20a. Existence of policing function
Colombia score: 100/100
No policing function is exercised over the defence services to investigate corruption or organised crime.
There is a unit within the national police force that deals with organised crime and corruption, which may be authorised to work on issues in the defence sector.
There is a unit within the national police force that deals with organised crime and corruption in the defence services, or there is a unit within the military police with the same mandate.
The Military Forces have a group of norms and institutions whose objective is the investigation of crimes committed in service. Decree 1797 of 2000, which issues the disciplinary regulations for the military forces, identifies disciplinary offenses as very serious offenses, serious offenses, and minor offenses. Among the breaches are actions of corruption such as violating customs legal provisions, weapons manufacturing or marketing, requesting or accepting commissions, giving money for the acquisition of goods and/or services for the Public Forces, and using property owned or at the service of the defence sector for personal gain, etc. The General Inspection and Personnel Office of the respective Forces and the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation are responsible for carrying out investigations into serious or very serious offenses (Colombia, Presidency of the Republic 2000, art. 164). Within the National Police, the General Police Inspection is responsible for advising the institutional command regarding ethical behavior of public servants, and for developing policies and prevention and control programs around police integrity within the service.  Law 1765 of 2015,  which structures the Military and Police criminal justice system, defines a series of new bodies such as the Military and Police Criminal Prosecutor’s Office and a technical body for Military and Police investigation. The latter is in charge of carrying out investigations related to the provisions of the Military Criminal Code, punishable conduct, human rights violations, and guaranteeing the chain of custody of test material and physical evidence. The National Police have seven units responsible for investigating and monitoring organised crime, the Directorate of Citizen Security, who has the mission of reducing crimes with the greatest impact in cities; Police and Rural Security Directorate, which aims to protect territories from illegal mining, illegal extraction of hydrocarbons, and protect the inhabitants who are in the process of land restitution in consolidation zones (territories where the FARC-EP was present), natural reserve areas, and border and productive areas; the Criminal Investigation Directorate and INTERPOL, which carries out judicial and criminal investigations, and supports the investigation processes for all crimes; the Police Intelligence Directorate, which generates strategic and operational intelligence to prevent threats; the Antinarcotics Directorate, which implements the policy to counter drug trafficking in narcotics; the Directorate of Protection and Special Services, which develops actions to protect children and adolescents, the environment and natural resources in the urban environment, tourism, the nation’s archaeological, cultural and religious heritage, high risk populations, vulnerable or vital assets, and infrastructure in the country’s oil sector; and the Anti-Kidnapping and Extortion Department which seeks to prevent, investigate, and reduce crimes against humanity.  Thus there is a clear institutional framework to carry out actions against organised crime and to evaluate corruption in defence services.
1. Policía Nacional. n.d. Inspección general de la Policía Nacional (INSGE). [General Inspectorate of the National Police (INSGE).] Accessed on: 23 July 2019. https://www.policia.gov.co/inspeccion-general.
2. Policía Nacional. n.d. Organigrama de la policía Nacional. [Organizational chart of the National Police.] Accessed on: 23 July 2019. https://www.policia.gov.co/organigrama.
3. Ley 1765 de 2015. “Por la cual se reestructura la justicia penal militar y policial.” [“By which the military and police criminal justice is restructured.”] Colombia, Congreso de la República. Bogotá: Diario Oficial No. 44.161, de 14 de septiembre de 2, 23 July. Accessed on: 22 April 2019.
Colombia score: 50/100
These policing functions are subject to considerable and regular undue influence from top military officials or the executive.
These policing functions are nominally independent, but in practice their work or budgets can be interfered with by top military officials or the executive.
These policing functions operate independently of the bodies that they investigate, and their budget is ring-fenced.
The Inspection Offices of the different Armed Forces are independent, neutral, and impartial to the disciplinary investigations and audits they conduct. This is explicitly stated the General Regulation of Inspections of the Army, where it states that for internal audits, auditors should be independent of those operationally responsible for the entity being audited. Auditors must maintain objectivity throughout the audit process to ensure that the audit findings and conclusions are based only on the audit evidence.  The Office of the Attorney General of the Nation, as a supervisory body, has the independence to initiate, advance, and adjudicate on investigations related to the disciplinary failures of public servants. The Office is required to work hand in hand with the General Inspection Offices and advance prevention processes through the provision of training and education to personnel. [2, 3] Despite the alleged independence of investigation processes within the Military Forces and Police, magazines such as Semana have denounced the passivity and ineffability of investigations. In their Live Week program, they argue that many of the corruption scandals within the Military Forces and Police that have been in the Prosecutor’s Office in previous years have not been resolved, nor has any action been taken on them.  Interviewee 6 argues that the legal corpus does not allow actions such as corruption or violations of human rights to be exposed to oversight bodies and public opinion, making it more difficult to generate investigations independently and effectively. 
1. Fuerzas Militares de Colombia, Ejército Nacional. 2016. Reglamento General de Inspecciones del Ejército. [General Regulations of Army Inspections.] Bogotá: Sección de públicaciones del Ejército.
2. Procuraduría General de la Nación. n.d. Objetivos y funciones. [Objectives and functions.] Accessed on: 7 April 2019. https://www.procuraduria.gov.co/portal/objetivos-y-funciones.page.
3. Missing interview 5.
4. Semana en vivo. 2019. “¿Qué pasa dentro del ejército colombiano?” [“What happens within the Colombian army?”] 7 July. Accessed on: 17 July 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGT7uca8rek&feature=youtu.be.
5. Entrevista 6. [Interview 6.] Entrevista de M. E Rugel. 2019. Experto en temas de seguridad y conflicto armado. [Expert in security issues and armed conflict.] 19 July.
Colombia score: 25/100
There is a complete failure to investigate or prosecute, even in the face of clear evidence.
Cases are superficially investigated, or receive "show" hearings in which defendants are not punished.
Cases are investigated but not often prosecuted. There is clear undue influence in the decision making process, or it may be that only certain types of cases are prosecuted.
Cases are investigated or prosecuted through formal processes, but undue political influence is attempted, and sometimes effective at derailing prosecutions.
Cases are investigated or prosecuted through formal processes and without undue political influence.
In Colombia there is debate about the competence of Military Criminal Justice and ordinary justice, since it is not yet clear the scope of intervention and investigative responsibility for certain crimes carried out by military personnel in the framework of its functions. Situations can arise in which the events that occurred have characteristics of crimes typified in the criminal code, such as crimes related to the application of human rights and with regards to International Humanitarian Law. Investigative competence could fall to ordinary justice, ignoring the role of Military Criminal Justice since acts to investigate military personnel would fall under the framework of service. Since this framework of serious crimes during the armed conflict was unclear, there is a legal vacuum on who can investigate and judge these crimes.  Faced with this situation in 2015, Military Criminal Justice is being restructured, granting clearer investigative and judging powers through the generation of bodies such as the Military and Police Criminal Prosecutor’s Office and a Military and Police Investigation Technical Corps.  This new regulation generated some contradiction since it is understood that the Military ends up being a judge and party, generating an administration of justice parallel to that established by the Constitution through the creation of bodies to be judged under their own rules and risking the reversal of the burden of proof, which could allow impunity for crimes in the context of armed conflict. For this reason, there is the belief that the responsibility of Military and Police investigations should fall exclusively to the ordinary jurisdiction.  For Interviewee 6,  the system of trial for the Military allows for impunity, which is evident in the requests to classify services or discharge the Military officer involved in acts of corruption and violations of human rights, sending a contradictory message since these measures do not properly deal with crimes themselves. Regarding allegations of corruption and passivity in investigations, the Week Magazine (Semana) has denounced the Military for not relegating investigated members from its posts, but instead promoting them. 
1. Chacón Jiménez, S. S. 2015. “Entre la línea de lo penal militar y de la justicia ordinaria o especializada.” (Tesis de maestría) [“In between the lines of Military Criminal Justice and Ordinary or Special Justice.”] Universidad Santo Tomás- Universidad de Salamanca. Bogotá: Maestria en Derecho Penal.
2. Ley 1765 de 2015. “Por la cual se reestructura la justicia penal militar y policial.” [“By which the military and police criminal justice is restructured.”] Colombia, Congreso de la República. Bogotá: Diario Oficial No. 44.161, de 14 de septiembre de 2, 23 July. Accessed on: 22 April 2019.
3. Reed Hurtado, M. 2015. La justicia penal Militar y policial: Justicia que no es justicia. [Military and police criminal justice: Justice that is not justice.] 2 August. Accessed on: 22 April 2019. https://www.razonpublica.com/index.php/politica-y-gobierno-temas-27/8704-la-justicia-penal-militar-y-policial-justicia-que-no-es-justicia.html.
4. Entrevista 6. [Interview 6.] Entrevista de M. E Rugel. 2019. Experto en temas de seguridad y conflicto armado. [Expert in security issues and armed conflict.] 19 July.
5. Revista Semana. 2019. “Capturan a 9 personas por casos de corrupción en el Ejército revelados por SEMANA.” [“9 people are captured in cases of corruption in the Army revealed by SEMANA.”] 23 July. Accessed on: 23 July 2019. https://www.semana.com/nacion/articulo/capturan-a-9-personas-por-casos-de-corrupcion-en-el-ejercito-revelados-por-semana/624799.
Compare scores by country
Please view this page on a larger screen for the full stats.
|Country||20a. Existence of policing function||20b. Independence||20c. Effectiveness|
|Albania||100 / 100||25 / 100||50 / 100|
|Algeria||50 / 100||25 / 100||25 / 100|
|Angola||50 / 100||0 / 100||50 / 100|
|Argentina||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Armenia||100 / 100||50 / 100||75 / 100|
|Australia||75 / 100||75 / 100||75 / 100|
|Azerbaijan||50 / 100||25 / 100||NEI|
|Bahrain||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Bangladesh||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Belgium||100 / 100||75 / 100||100 / 100|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||100 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Botswana||100 / 100||100 / 100||25 / 100|
|Brazil||50 / 100||25 / 100||50 / 100|
|Burkina Faso||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Cameroon||50 / 100||0 / 100||50 / 100|
|Canada||100 / 100||75 / 100||75 / 100|
|Chile||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|China||25 / 100||0 / 100||50 / 100|
|Colombia||100 / 100||50 / 100||25 / 100|
|Cote d'Ivoire||50 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Denmark||100 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Egypt||50 / 100||25 / 100||0 / 100|
|Estonia||100 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Finland||100 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|France||100 / 100||50 / 100||75 / 100|
|Germany||100 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Ghana||100 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Greece||50 / 100||NEI||50 / 100|
|Hungary||100 / 100||75 / 100||75 / 100|
|India||75 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Indonesia||50 / 100||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|Iran||25 / 100||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|Iraq||0 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Israel||100 / 100||75 / 100||75 / 100|
|Italy||100 / 100||50 / 100||75 / 100|
|Japan||75 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Jordan||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Kenya||100 / 100||50 / 100||0 / 100|
|Kosovo||100 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Kuwait||50 / 100||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|Latvia||100 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Lebanon||100 / 100||0 / 100||50 / 100|
|Lithuania||100 / 100||100 / 100||75 / 100|
|Malaysia||100 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Mali||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Mexico||50 / 100||50 / 100||25 / 100|
|Montenegro||100 / 100||75 / 100||25 / 100|
|Morocco||25 / 100||0 / 100||50 / 100|
|Myanmar||25 / 100||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|Netherlands||100 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|New Zealand||100 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Niger||50 / 100||50 / 100||25 / 100|
|Nigeria||75 / 100||NEI||50 / 100|
|North Macedonia||100 / 100||75 / 100||NEI|
|Norway||50 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Oman||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Palestine||25 / 100||0 / 100||NEI|
|Philippines||100 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Poland||100 / 100||75 / 100||75 / 100|
|Portugal||100 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|Qatar||50 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Russia||100 / 100||50 / 100||75 / 100|
|Saudi Arabia||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Serbia||100 / 100||25 / 100||75 / 100|
|Singapore||100 / 100||75 / 100||100 / 100|
|South Africa||75 / 100||50 / 100||75 / 100|
|South Korea||50 / 100||25 / 100||50 / 100|
|South Sudan||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Spain||100 / 100||50 / 100||75 / 100|
|Sudan||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Sweden||75 / 100||50 / 100||100 / 100|
|Switzerland||75 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Taiwan||75 / 100||75 / 100||75 / 100|
|Tanzania||75 / 100||75 / 100||25 / 100|
|Thailand||100 / 100||0 / 100||0 / 100|
|Tunisia||50 / 100||0 / 100||25 / 100|
|Turkey||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Uganda||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Ukraine||100 / 100||50 / 100||50 / 100|
|United Arab Emirates||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|United Kingdom||100 / 100||75 / 100||75 / 100|
|United States||75 / 100||100 / 100||100 / 100|
|Venezuela||0 / 100||NA||NA|
|Zimbabwe||0 / 100||0 / 100||NA|