By the Blouin News Politics staff

After scandals, Colombia’s police force remakes itself

by in Americas.

Source: Policía Nacional de los colombianos/flickr

Source: Policía Nacional de los colombianos/flickr

Colombia’s national police force does not have the best reputation. On Thursday, Colombian media firm Caracol published a secret 2008 report from the U.S. DEA implicating three ex-directors of the national police in taking bribes from drug trafficking. And just last week, revelations of a police-run male prostitution racket forced the director to resign. Luckily, Colombia has just given its national police force a much-needed makeover.

Under new director Jorge Hernando Nieto, a special summit of police chiefs from across the country was held in Bogota earlier this week, and on Wednesday new structural changes were announced. As part of the “national offensive against crime,” a new search squad specifically targeting organized crime groups was created, to be put to immediate use. It has been assigned 161 operations, including going after gang ringleaders, and its results will be evaluated in 100 days. Rewards are being offered for top-level criminals, and global operations are to be conducted in cooperation with international police organizations Interpol, Europol, and Ameripol.

Another major initiative seeks to increase transparency…

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