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Monday, June 27, 2011

Territorial Consolidation in 95 Colombian Municipalities

PODEC <davide@podec.org>

(Translated by Steve Cagan, a CSN Volunteer Translator. Edited by Teresa Welsh, a CSN Volunteer Editor.)

*The investment was more than $697 billion pesos [almost $395 million USD—SC] last year
*35 percent of the returns in the country have been in consolidation zones
*60 percent of the inhabitants of municipalities covered by the Consolidation Center have changed their perception about the presence of the State.
Bogotá, April 19, 2011. The return to their places of origin of 53,000 persons, the decreasing number of homicides, and the increases in coverage of education and health, demonstrated the advances in social recovery of 95 municipalities of Colombia which were previously centers of operations of terrorism and narcotics trafficking and which today, thanks to the work of 15 agencies of the State, are returning to legality.
Those institutions, grouped in the Coordinating Center of Integral Action (CCAI) under the leadership of Social Action [a government agency—SC], in 2010 brought their offer to 153,611 families located in 14 regions of our country: Sierra Nevada, Catatumbo, Macarena, Río Caguán, Montes de María, Cauca, the south of El Chocó, Arauca, the south of Córdoba, the Bajo Cauca in Antioquia, Nariño, the south of Tolima and the north of Valle, Buenaventura y Putumayo.
In these areas, the work was focused on strengthening governability, return and restitution of their rights to the displaced population, eradication of illicit crops, social management and development, road infrastructure, electrification, productive projects, food security and cultural identity.
In 2010 more than 697 billion pesos were invested, which served to promote 1,051 social development projects, 256 infrastructure projects and 324 economic development projects. In addition 896 humanitarian missions and 116 inter-institutional work projects were carried out and 181 donations with a value of 15.397 billion pesos [a little over $8.7 million USD—SC]. In another area, more than 3,290 land parcels—248,958 hectares [Over 615,000 acres—SC]—belonging to displaced families were protected.
With the work of CCAI the previous year, health coverage in the 95 municipalities that were focused on increased to 92.5 percent. Programs like that of Families in Action rose to 82 percent and education coverage reached 103.7 percent.
This helped homicides to diminish 43.8 percent in these areas of the country. As well, displacements were reduced from 15 persons to six persons for every thousand inhabitants of the region, while 13,149 households, approximately 53,000 persons, returned to their places of origin, which equals 35 percent of all returns in the country.
Change in perception.
A study done by CCAI in 40 of the municipalities that were focused on allowed a change to be seen in the perception that the inhabitants have with respect to the offer by the State, which resulted in 60 percent of the inhabitants manifesting confidence in state institutions, while 83 percent considered that security in the area has improved.
In another area, 85 percent has seen an improvement in education services, while 53 percent perceive an improvement in health services. In the theme of regional governability, 49 percent of those surveyed have participated in a structure of social and community participation in their municipality.
Finally, in the theme of return of the displaced population, 78 percent would recommend to a relative that had been displaced that they return.
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