The SIU Strengthening project continues technical assistance, training and advisory activities in Colombia to combat criminal organisations
The project to Strengthen the Special Investigation Unit, funded by the European Union and implemented by the FIIAPP, has promoted the development and institutionalisation of a new criminal investigation paradigm. This research model is characterised by its strategic orientation towards the dismantling of criminal organisations and their support networks. As a result, research procedures have been established based on the comprehensive analysis of criminal organisations and the violence they inflict on the population, as well as intersectional analysis and research with differential approaches (gender, ethnic and territorial).
The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) of the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation of Colombia was set up within the framework of the Final Agreement to End of Armed Conflict and Build a Stable and Lasting Peace, as part of the measures aimed at guaranteeing and protecting the rights of defenders of human rights, includingmembers of political parties and of community, social and political movements. The SIU’s fundamental mission is to help dismantle criminal organisations and behaviours that harm those involved in the implementation of the agreements and the peace building in Colombia.
Within the framework of the project, technical assistance and advisory activities have been provided for the SIU context analysis teams, which are key players in the new research model. To do this, national and international specialists of different nationalities have been used. Training and technical assistance activities have also been carried out for the development of a proprietary model for the management of large volumes of information that facilitates the processing of sources analysis and the development of databases of strategic value.
At the same time, investments have been made in providing equipment for the SIU, both in teams located in Bogotá and in the so-called ” Itinerant Research Groups “, mobile teams with the capacity to carry out urgent and specialised investigative activities.
Finally, work has been done to establish spaces for dialogue between the SIU and social, community and victims’ organisations, promoting relationships of trust. One of the fundamental lines of action has been the promotion of civil society participation in the construction of context analyses, and also the guarantees of victims’ access to information and judicial truth. In this area, work has been done to improve the institutional communication and the accountability of the SIU, with respect to victims and public opinion in general.
The project, which began in 2019 and will end in December 2021, after 30 months of execution, is led by FIIAPP and its participants include institutions such as the State Attorney General’s Office, the Spanish Ministry of the Interior and the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ).