On April 2016, the Colombian National Police created the Police Unit for Peacebuilding – UNIPEP – to contribute to the post-conflict scenario in the country. This visionary commitment took place long before the agreement was signed, in order to define its institutional responsibility towards the implementation of the Final Peace Agreement. From that moment on, a collaborative work began between UNIPEP, Interpeace and partner organization Alianza para la Paz, with the support of the governments of Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. This alliance gave rise to the Peacebuilding Model of the National Police, launched on May 3, 2017, and its implementation plan. The model is implemented at the institutional level (inside the police) and seeks to define coordination actions with the military forces and other public institutions responsible of implementing the peace agreements.
Building peace in Colombia, entails a significant challenge for the National Police to transform itself into an institution that guarantees the necessary conditions for the exercise of all rights and freedoms. From a peacebuilding perspective, signing an agreement that ends the conflict is only the first step in a long process to build lasting peace.
Therefore, in order to adjust to the new challenges derived from the post-conflict scenario, the National Police of Colombia have transitioned to fostering and enabling a peaceful transformation of conflicts, as part of its institutional policies. For this reason, supporting the Colombian National Police was strategically valuable for Interpeace and Alianza para la Paz. Working with the Colombian National Police contributes to the non-recurrence of armed violence and reduces the emergence of new forms of violence and criminality.
Currently, Alianza para la Paz and Interpeace are implementing 2 programmes in Colombia in partnership with the Colombian National Police:
- The “Conflict Transformation and Territorial Peace” programme, seeks to build capacities in the national police to prevent and manage violence originating from social conflicts in 5 municipalities. One of the main objectives is to update procedures, standard protocols and programmatic contents of police training from the perspective of conflict transformation and peacebuilding.
- The “Gender Approach in the National Police of Colombia” programme seeks to improve prevention mechanisms and attention on gender-based violence by the National Police in 7 prioritized, rural municipalities. The expected change that this project seeks is to increase the capacities of the State, specifically the National Police (with the leadership of the UNIPEP in articulation with other local entities), to prevent and address gender-based violence in territories highly affected by the armed conflict and the low institutional presence of the State.