The Colombian government will form a new security body with the goal of providing protection to both leaders and beneficiaries in the land restitution process, the Ministry of Defense reported Wednesday.
In view of the continued violence perpetrated against victims of displacement and members of land restitution organizations, the central government has stated that it will install the Integrated Center of Intelligence for Land Restitution (CI2-RT) in the Ministry of Defense.
The mechanism will be responsible for guaranteeing security for all parties involved in the restitution process by gathering intelligence and coordinating activities of the various organizations involved.
Members from a number of government and non-governmental bodies will take part in the CI2-RT. Participants include the vice president, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Justice and Interior, the Department of Administrative Security (DAS), Social Action, Incoder, and other organizations that represent victims of violence.
According to Minister of Defense Rodrigo Rivera, “Return and restitution is a maximum priority for the government; for this reason the Ministry of Defense decided not to await the approval of the Victims Law and decided to progress immediately in the construction of a protection and security model for the process of land restitution.”
In January, the Minister of Agriculture said that “radical measures” were needed to halt violence against the displaced, asking the Chief of National Police Oscar Naranjo to help stop the wave of threats and violence being launched against land restitution organizations.
A draft of the Victims Law was signed earlier this month however, key dividing issues remain to be debated between parties over what will constitute the final piece of legislation.