The Colombia Strategic Development Initiative (CSDI)
Building on Progress by Plan Colombia
In the 11 years since the United States began supporting Plan Colombia and its follow-on programs, Colombia has seen significant progress:
- Our programs provide training, equipment, and funding to the Government of Colombia, civil society, international organizations, and NGOs in the areas of counternarcotics and counterterrorism, alternative development, law enforcement, institutional strengthening, judicial reform, human and labor rights, humanitarian assistance for displaced persons and victims of the war, local governance, conflict management and peace promotion, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants, including child soldiers, humanitarian de-mining, and preservation of the environment.
- Achievements include a reduction of 92 percent in kidnappings, 45 percent in homicides, and 71 percent in terrorist attacks. Estimated cocaine production potential has been reduced from 700 metric tons in 2001 to 270 in 2009, a 61 percent decrease.
- Nevertheless, serious challenges remain.
Colombia’s National Consolidation Plan Addresses Significant Continuing Problems
Colombia’s National Consolidation Plan (PNC) was revised by President Santos in September 2010 to make it the backbone of Colombian regional development and reform programs by responding to issues of rural poverty, violence, human rights, and the needs of indigenous and other vulnerable groups, including Afro-Colombians and the country’s internally displaced population.
- Fifteen geographic areas are identified in the PNC where Colombian agencies will concentrate military, counternarcotics, law enforcement, and social and economic development efforts to establish a continuing government presence. This is a logical next step to ensure the consolidation of progress made by Plan Colombia and its follow-on programs.
- The PNC calls for concentrated efforts to expand state presence and services in targeted geographic areas where poverty, violence, and illicit crop cultivation or narcotics trafficking have historically converged.
CSDI Supports Colombia’s National Consolidation Plan
While broad programs to support Colombia will continue, the United States is increasingly focusing programs in a more coordinated, interagency approach through the Colombian Strategic Development Initiative (CSDI) to better assist the Colombian government’s strategy.
- The PNC and CSDI are based on the initial successes of a pilot project in the La Macarena area of Meta Department undertaken with U.S. support. There, UN coca estimates show that coca cultivation is down 96 percent since 2005 (from 12,000 hectares to 400-450 hectares).
- U.S. support for civilian institution-building, rule of law, and alternative development programs, with security and counternarcotics efforts, will help the Colombian government establish and build state presence.
- In Colombia, we have seen that alternative development programs and institution-building can only flourish in those areas where the rule of law and a state security presence exists. Conversely, Colombia’s major security gains of the last decade will only be lasting if they are followed by the expansion of basic social services, public safety, and a permanent state presence in recently secured areas.
- U.S. support for Colombian aviation assets, ground security, and police forces has been key to helping the Colombian government extend its presence in many areas where illegal drug crops are produced.
Through CSDI, we are increasingly directing our programs to support specific municipalities in some of the PNC’s 15 geographic zones prioritized by the Colombian government and are currently focused on 38 priority municipalities in six regions. These six encompass multiple PNC zones: Montes de Maria, Nudo de Paramillo, Tolima, Nariño, Meta, and Rio Caguan.
Colombia Increasingly Supports Regional Programs
Colombia has been a steadfast partner and one that is providing its growing expertise throughout the region and globally.
- Since 2007, Colombia has trained approximately 6,000 Mexican police and judicial officials. This assistance goes well beyond Mexico and includes training and exchanges with Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru. In the aftermath of Haiti’s January 2010 earthquake, Colombia contributed important medical and humanitarian relief, supplies, transport services, and search and rescue teams.
- In 2012, Colombia will host the Summit of the Americas, in Cartagena.
Colombia currently has a seat on the UN Security Council. In addition to contributing police officers to MINUSTAH, Colombia also has peacekeeping forces in the Sinai.