Bulletin archive - Bulletin Issue8 October?December 2002
Thursday, 28 August 2008 20:18
Decree 2002 was issued late on 10th September. It extends emergency powers to the armed forces, to the extent that the military can impose dictatorship on civilian population in areas designated Rehabilitation and Consolidation Zones.


Detentions, raids, checks, interceptions and other actions must be recorded with hour, date, place and reason for the action.


If resources permit, the investigation should be supervised by an attorney or agent of the Prosecutors Office. If not, the State Force may act autonomously. The military will be able to take captive, always whenever there are serious indicators that the person is committed in a nexus with armed groups. Those captured will not be allowed to stay more than 24 hours in the power of the State Force.

Interception of Communications

The verbal authorisation of the zone's military commander will be enough to enable the interception and recording of telephone, radio and similar communications of those suspected of being party to an unlawful act or that could be used as evidence of committing a terrorist action.

Inspection of Premises and Raids

Houses, apartments, offices, store rooms and commercial premises can be checked in search of evidence. Members of State Forces who carry out a raid will carry a log that must be signed by whoever they encounter in the raid. The authorities will also be able to intercept boats and planes, whenever it is presumed that they will encounter a person implicated in an unlawful act.

Control of Foreigners

All foreign citizens staying in Colombia must present themselves to the relevant governor, explain the reason for their presence and seek permission from this unit to stay in the region. For passage through and staying in the Zones, foreigners must state their motive in going there. If they do not present themselves to the military garrison, or they do not succeed in explaining the reason for their visit satisfactorily, foreigners can be expelled from the country. The measures will cover members of the foreign press, workers for multinationals, representatives of NGOs, researchers, scientists and tourists.

Movement of Inhabitants

The measures for the Zones will be under the command of a military officer - a general or a colonel. The movement of the inhabitants and their place of residence can be regulated [ordered]. A census can be ordered of what persons inhabit the area. The population can be subject to curfews, if the public order situation merits it. Also special permits will be required for free passage, for people as well as vehicles, in cited places.

Mobilisation of Inhabitants

Persons who enter or leave the Zones, or who mobilise inside them, have to inform the authorities. Not to do so may carry detention of up to 24 hours. The inhabitants of these zones are obliged to inform on the possession, carrying or use of arms, explosives or communication equipment.

Carrying documents

In cases when inhabitants in these zones do not have their identity document on demand, they can be detained for 24 hours or while their judicial record is checked. In such cases the Registrar must respond as required. To not do so expeditiously will be considered a serious shortcoming of the official concerned.

Use of goods

The governor or mayor in the Zone can authorise the temporary or permanent use of private goods, such as vehicles, aeroplanes, boats, communications equipment and others, if official goods do not exist or are damaged. The services of professionals - doctors, lawyers, nurses - as well as technicians can be demanded with the purpose of guaranteeing the wellbeing of the civilian population. The State commits to make good all partial or total damage to goods that are used, by means of compensation.

Measures to be applied in half the country

Decree 2002 will be initially applied in seven regions that cover 14 departments and 23 places that are considered key points by the Armed Forces.

(as summarised in EL TIEMPO 14 September 2002)