A U.S. embassy announcement that a military training unit will be coming to Colombia generates much controversy. A team from the U.S. Army’s 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, a recently created unit whose sole mission is training other security forces, is to send 53 trainers at the beginning of June to several conflictive sites around the country designated as “Zonas Futuro,” where they will remain for four months. U.S. Southern Command states that the unit “will focus on logistics, services and intelligence capabilities directly supporting U.S.-Colombia counter-narcotics collaboration and information sharing.” A statement from the FARC political party calls the deployment part of the U.S. strategy to pressure the Maduro regime in Venezuela.
- The Constitutional Court conditions the government’s plan to implement a rapid increase in state presence in five “Strategic Comprehensive Intervention Zones” (ZEII, or “Zonas Futuro”). It requires the Zones to take into account the mandates of the peace accord and to include, explicitly, the participation of communities.
- The five small zones, just getting underway with the December emission of a decree, overlap with the peace accord’s Territorially Focused Development Plans (PDETs) in five regions: Catatumbo; the Pacific zone of Nariño; the Bajo Cauca region of Antioquia and Córdoba; Arauca; and the zone around the Chiribiquete National Park in Caquetá.
- The law and decree had placed the zones under the purview of the government’s National Security Council, which is made up entirely of government bodies. The modification is the result of a suit brought by several human rights groups.