(Photo: Ministerio del Interior)

The Chargé d’Affaires from the United States’ Bogota embassy signed an agreement Wednesday with representatives of Colombia’s National Police and   Ministry of the Interior aimed at improving security in rural Colombia.

According to a statement released by the parties, the project appropriates funds to support police and improve local conditions in four rural municipalities scattered throughout central and northern Colombia.

“These four municipalities are priorities because they have to deal with serious problems maintaining public order. It is very important that these four municipalities to get a number of security cameras that will support the work of the authorities,” said Interior Minister Iragorri Valencia.

Authorities say the municipalities, separated by large geographic distances, share a certain pattern of criminal activity, which includes the illegal cultivation of various crops involved in Colombia’s narcotics trade.

The project calls for modern surveillance systems to be installed, to help local police monitor and investigate crime.

The agreement includes an investment of about $1,600,000, to be provided for by the Colombian government ($646,777),  the U.S. ($844,982) and the  municipalities themselves ($78,761) according to a new shared funding model being experimented with by the two countries.

“Today we can see important results in the society due to enforcements of the security forces and social investment,” said the mayor of one of the municipalities, Hugo Arce Hernandez

This is the first shared-funding agreement of this kind between the U.S. state department and the Colombian government, and authorities say they will be looking to the project as a limited experiment of its potential success in terms of larger investments.


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