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Western Hemisphere: The Colombia Strategic Development Initiative (CSDI)

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
April 12, 2012

Building on Progress

From FY 2000 through FY 2011, the United States provided more than $8 billion for Plan Colombia and its follow-on programs. Our programs have provided training, equipment, and funding to the Government of Colombia, civil society, international organizations, and non-government organizations (NGOs) in many areas: counternarcotics and counterterrorism; alternative development; law enforcement; institutional strengthening; judicial reform; human rights and labor rights; social inclusion; 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.

In the 13 years since the United States began supporting Plan Colombia and subsequent initiatives, Colombia has made significant advances on security. Major achievements include a reduction of 90 percent in kidnappings and terrorist attacks, and a 45 percent reduction in homicides. Moreover, estimated cocaine production potential has been reduced by 61 percent since 2001.

Colombia’s National Consolidation Plan (PNC) Addresses Continuing Challenges

Colombia’s major security gains will only be lasting, however, if they are followed by a permanent state presence in vulnerable areas where illegal armed groups continue to operate and influence communities, to include minimal conditions of public safety, followed by the expansion of basic social services and economic development.

To achieve this objective, President Juan Manuel Santos revised Colombia’s National Consolidation Plan (PNC) in his first year in office, making it the backbone of Colombian regional development and reform programs. The PNC’s whole-of-government approach is designed to expand state presence into vulnerable areas where poverty, absence of rule of law, illegal armed group activity, drug trafficking and cultivation, recognized ethnic territory disputes, and human rights violations are most pronounced.

U.S. Government Lends Support through CSDI

We support Colombia’s efforts through the Colombia Strategic Development Initiative (CSDI), an inter-agency approach that provides U.S. assistance across a full spectrum of activities: eradication and interdiction; capacity-building of the national police, military, and prosecutor units; strengthening state institutions at the local level; creation of viable economic options for communities, particularly in the agricultural sector; support for land reform and victims’ reparations, and assistance to vulnerable populations, including women, indigenous peoples, and Afro-Colombians and persons with disabilities.

Through CSDI, the United States coordinates assistance from USAID (the lead agency in joint consolidation operations), the State Department’s Narcotics Affairs Section, the United States Military Group, and the Department of Justice in 33 municipalities in five consolidation regions: Meta, Tumaco, Nudo del Paramillo (Antioquia and southern Córdoba), southern Tolima, and Montes de María. The U.S. Government also supports Colombian state efforts in other strategic areas, as needed.

Colombia Increasingly Shares Expertise in Regional Programs

Our support to Colombia has paid dividends within Latin America as Colombia shares its growing expertise throughout the region and globally.

  • Over the past three years, Colombia has trained over 11,000 police officers from 21 Latin American and African countries, as well as Afghanistan.
  • Colombia has trained more than 6,000 Mexican federal and state law enforcement personnel, over 500 prosecutors and judicial personnel, and 24 Mexican helicopter pilots. To complement this bilateral relationship, the U.S.-Mexico Merida Initiative supports a training program being conducted by Colombia’s National Police Junglas for the Mexican Federal Police. Colombia and Mexico are sharing information, are seeking to expand their bilateral extradition treaty, and are planning to conclude an evidence-sharing agreement.
  • Colombia's security assistance in the region also includes training programs and exchanges with Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Haiti, Peru, and Paraguay.
  • Mexico and Panama have each invited Colombia’s PNC coordinating body to share lessons learned on the civilian-led introduction of state services and rule of law into areas where the state is weak.
  • Colombia is also showcasing its progress and regional leadership by hosting the April 13-15 Summit of the Americas, and through its key contributions as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.