In a directive, the parameters to act and find the perpetrators and the most responsible for different practices were detailed. From the irregular registration of identification cards to the illicit financing of campaigns, among others.

With itinerancy, a greater presence in the territories, prioritization and association of cases; and permanent analysis of the context of particular situations that arise in each region, among other multiple activities, the Office of the Attorney General will deal with people and criminal organizations that seek to benefit themselves or attack the democratic freedom of citizens in the 2022 elections.

With the issuance of Directive 0002, the Attorney General, Francisco Barbosa Delgado, defined the roadmap to investigate and prosecute crimes that occur in the pre-electoral, electoral and post-electoral stages.

“258 municipalities in the country, have a high risk in electoral crimes; 526 medium risk; and 338 low risk”, revealed the Attorney General, indicating that an electoral risk map is being consolidated and will be updated according to the progress made in the investigative processes.

The guidelines proposed in this directive seek to expose and act against the perpetrators, those responsible, and those who benefit themselves from these criminal practices. Likewise, it seeks to identify and dismantle the structures that, in each territory, are organized to affect the will of voters in the polls.

The directive, initially, describes the need to create differential strategies for each of the moments of the event. From the registration and acceptance of candidates to the election; during the voting or elections to intervene when there is vote-buying and other illegal acts; and in the ballots when there is a possible intention to modify the results.

For this purpose, there will be a specialized team of prosecutors from the thematic axis for the protection of democratic participation mechanisms – Eje Temático de Protección de Mecanismos de Participación Democrática– belonging to the Special Directorate against Corruption; that will work with the Delegate Office against Organized Crime and the Delegate Office for Territorial Security, as well as the Delegate Office against Criminal Finances, the latter for the purpose of detecting illicit financing of campaigns or alterations in the accounting reports that are presented to the competent authorities.

“The Special Investigation Unit will be in charge of carrying out all the investigations, with its own judicial police, about homicides or threats of people in process of reincorporation, members of the so-called political party Partido Comunes, explained Prosecutor Barbosa Delgado.

Likewise, itinerant teams of prosecutors and judicial police will be operating and they will have the capacity to travel to different areas of the country and carry out judicial proceedings or obtain evidence. These groups will be activated during the three months prior to and up to 15 days after the elections.

“We will have a permanent prioritization committee in the Attorney General’s Office. A committee that will analyze the electoral phenomenon from now and to the end of the presidential elections. Likewise,  we will have itinerant command posts throughout the national territory, organized by sectional directors to inform the country, in real-time, about what is happening with electoral crimes in Colombia,” said the Attorney General.

A strategy committed to transparency

In response to the 2020-2024 Strategic Direction, those crimes that affect citizens’ will to participate and elect are behaviors associated with corruption. Therefore these cases will be prioritized.

The personnel in charge of receiving the complaints will be trained on the behaviors that threaten the citizen participation mechanisms. A correct selection of the facts that are informed through the assistance channels will be guaranteed.

Likewise, we will keep up-to-date on the reports originated by the immediate reception unit for electoral transparency – Unidad de Recepción Inmediata para la Transparencia Electoral URIEL –  and about the circumstances that are detected and may constitute a crime.

The prosecutors will have the freedom to produce evidence and implement different investigative techniques that are within their power. However, they must consolidate solid processes, with context analysis of the reality that each territory faces in electoral crimes and the historical incidence of armed actors and criminal structures; and have the ability to associate cases in relation to time, manner or place. This, to advance in an effective and comprehensive investigative and judicial response.

“The Prosecutor’s Office is ready to face this electoral contest and to meet Colombian citizens expectations”, he concluded.

When we speak, results follow.