International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Section (INL)

INL works to keep Americans safe at home by countering international crime, illegal drugs, and instability abroad, in cooperation with host nations. INL helps countries deliver justice and fairness by strengthening their courts, police forces, and corrections systems. These efforts reduce the amount of crime and illegal drugs reaching U.S. shores.

INL assistance enhances the Colombian government’s capability to reduce narcotics trafficking; dismantle transnational criminal organizations; bring criminals to justice; extend security and governance to remote, rural communities; and, improve regional security through training cooperation with partners throughout the hemisphere.

The INL Section in Bogota, established in 1985, is among the largest and most comprehensive INL offices in the world. INL Bogota builds institutional capacity and provides technical assistance, training, and operational support to Colombian counterpart agencies, including the Colombian National Police (CNP), all military services, prosecutors, and the judicial system, through the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act. INL Bogota advises the Ambassador on counternarcotics policy and works in close coordination with DOJ, DHS, and U.S. military counterparts.

Aviation – In this large, mountainous country, INL Bogota’s support for the Colombian police aviation program provides the CNP with critical air mobility that supports all other U.S.-supported eradication and interdiction efforts to prevent illicit narcotics from reaching the United States. It also extends the Colombian government’s authority into remote, rural areas, and in particular enables the CNP to provide police services, rural security, and emergency response in previously undersupported regions of Colombia. The program is a force multiplier for other USG-supported CNP programs and a prime player in generating the impressive counternarcotics results that the CNP achieves each year. INL Bogota provides aviation assets and support for maintenance, training, technical assistance, and commodities to the CNP Aviation section.

Interdiction – INL Bogota’s interdiction program provides Colombian counterparts with specialized training, equipment, infrastructure, and logistical support for counternarcotics operations.  These activities disrupt the flow of illicit narcotics to the United States by building and supporting the aerial, land, maritime, and riverine interdiction capabilities of the CNP, Colombian Army, Navy and Air Force such that they can conduct increasingly effective operations against major narcotics-trafficking organizations. The program also strengthens the investigative capacity of the CNP and the Office of the Colombian Attorney General, prevents the exportation of narcotics through ports and airports, and reduces the flow of precursors needed to produce narcotics.

Eradication – INL Bogota’s support for Colombia’s manual coca eradication program prevents narcotics from entering the United States by helping the CNP and the Colombian Army destroy the illicit crop necessary for the production of cocaine. Successful, sustainable eradication denies financial support to illegal armed groups and is a key element of the Colombian government’s comprehensive, whole-of-government approach to transform coca-growing regions and develop licit alternatives to coca cultivation. INL Bogota supports Colombian government efforts to eradicate coca through the construction of bases, transportation for eradication teams, anti-Improvised Explosive Device (IED) training, and the supply of IED detectors and eradication protective gear and tools.

Environmental Crimes – INL Bogota helps the Colombian government combat environmental crimes such as illegal mining and illegal wildlife trafficking, both of which are often committed by the same criminal groups involved in the drug trade. The program builds the capacity of Colombian institutions through training, technology and equipment, and virtual platforms for interagency coordination within the Colombian government to improve prosecutions and convictions for these crimes.

Rural Security – The program assists the CNP to re-establish security in vast rural areas where most coca cultivation and cocaine production occurs. It simultaneously helps pave the way for the expansion of the Colombian government’s presence into these remote regions that have historically been under the control or influence of armed criminal groups. Program activities include construction, specialty training, equipment donations, and police operational support (e.g., community events, investigations, seminars, and community-focused projects).

INL Bogota established its International Coordination Division in 2013 to enhance Colombia’s capacity to export its security expertise and to coordinate U.S.-funded and Colombian-implemented security assistance to other countries in the region. INL Bogota coordinates and implements these activities under the U.S.-Colombia Action Plan on Regional Security Cooperation, a bilateral presidential initiative announced during the 2012 Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia.

Justice – INL Bogota works with Colombian police, prosecutors, and judges as well as oversight agencies such as Colombia’s Comptroller and Inspector General to combat transnational crime, impunity and corruption; increase protection of human rights; improve justice sector efficiency, effectiveness and fairness; and, expand the reach of criminal justice sector institutions.  INL Bogota funds the Department of Justice’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training (OPDAT), International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) and the U.S. Marshals to implement justice rule of law programs in Colombia.

 Corrections – INL Bogota’s corrections reform program supports Colombian efforts to improve Colombia’s prison system by aiding prisons to operate in a safe, secure, humane, and transparent fashion. The primary focus of INL’s assistance includes basic training, international accreditation, and implementation of systems and processes to improve operations.

 Anti-Money Laundering – INL Bogota’s anti-money laundering/asset forfeiture program helps Colombian agencies investigate money laundering and pursue the forfeiture of illicit assets to weaken transnational criminal organizations and combat corruption. It develops expertise, promotes interagency cooperation, and increases prosecution and investigation of cases. The program supports U.S. law enforcement agencies sharing expertise with Colombian counterparts through training to improve prosecutions and convictions for transnational financial crimes.

 Drug Demand Reduction – INL Bogota’s drug demand reduction program strengthens the Colombian government’s capacity to prevent substance use, reduce crime, increase treatment availability, and facilitate offenders’ reinsertion into society to minimize the impact of illegal drug use and reduce associated criminal activity. The program increases Colombia’s capacity to provide effective, evidence-based programs; implements a standardized drug prevention and treatment curriculum; and increases evidence-based programs to prevent crime and consumption and to strength the juvenile justice system.