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Institutional Strengthening, Gender, and Digitalization: Keys to Citizen Security

BOGOTA, Colombia – Institutional strengthening, gender equity policies, adoption of new technologies, and increased digitization, aligned with capacity building, are key factors for the police modernization and transformation processes implemented by countries in the region.

These are some of the outstanding issues that began to be addressed at length during the XII Week of Citizen Security and Justice, “Police Transformation in Latin America and the Caribbean: Building the Police of the Future,” the largest event dedicated to security and justice issues in the region.

This year’s meeting is organized by the government of Colombia, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and strategic partners, including the National Police of Colombia (PNC), Colombia’s University of Los Andes and EAFIT University, and the United States’ Rutgers University.

The XII Week of Citizen Security and Justice promotes the exchange of experiences and best practices in police transformation and modernization processes through different dialogues with ministers of security and interior, police chiefs, experts, civil society, and the private sector.

The issues addressed during the event seek to bolster citizen security institutions to improve the quality of life of citizens in the region and strengthen the business climate to accelerate the social and economic recovery of Latin America and the Caribbean. The latter is a priority of Vision 2025. Reinvest in the Americas: A Decade of Opportunity, which guides the IDB Group’s work with the region’s governments.

The opening session was attended by the President of Colombia, Iván Duque; the Minister of National Defense of Colombia, Diego Molano Aponte; the Vice Minister of National Defense of Colombia, Jairo García; the General Director of the National Police of Colombia, Gen. Jorge Luis Vargas; the IDB Vice President for Sectors and Knowledge of the IDB, Benigno López Benítez; and the IDB Specialist Sector Technical Leader of Citizen Security and Justice, Nathalie Alvarado.

The President of Colombia, Iván Duque, stressed that "we hope to be able to replicate this coordination that the IDB has fostered (...) We are sharing our experiences with the quadrant police, tourism, cybersecurity, and in protocols and collaboration with Interpol and Europol to explore the best interventions in collaboration, unification of standards, and unification of databases.” 

“I invite you to continue making this week of Citizen Security what it is, the best tool for coordinating public security policies that the hemisphere has (...) A better police force is better coexistence, and better coexistence is fairness,” president Duque stated.

IDB Vice President for Sectors and Knowledge, Benigno López Benítez, stressed that “quality of institutions and citizen security are key issues for governance, public services provision, and the promotion of a business climate that is more favorable for investment and private sector development.”

The objective of the different sessions to take place at the event is to identify common challenges faced by the region’s police and outline the basic principles followed in these transformation processes to generate a police institutional structure that is more effective, transparent, committed to human rights, and endowed with social legitimacy. The different sessions will seek to define the future operational environment for the police, exploring aspects that should be considered today with a long-term strategic vision.

The Inter-American Development Bank is the largest multilateral organization focused on building institutional capacity in the citizen security and justice sector in Latin America and the Caribbean. Since 2011, the Bank has approved 31 operations in the sector totaling loans for more than $1.5 billion in 15 countries in the region.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social, and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance, and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.


Nicaretta,Romina Tan

Nicaretta,Romina Tan

Lobera,Jose Luis

Lobera,Jose Luis
Additional Contacts

Nathalie Tatiana Alvarado

Nathalie Tatiana Alvarado
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