Colombians complain constantly about their government’s ossified bureaucracy. But when they get a chance to approach a problem in a new way—with a sweeping peace accord—this is what happens:
In the executive branch, there are at least six entities or authorities with competencies related to the illicit crops issue, including the Defense Ministry. In addition, there are three different “directorates” with similar functions—in the Vice-Presidency, in the Ministry of Justice, and in the High Presidential Ministry for the Post-Conflict. To these must be added the challenges of effectively articulating the PNIS [National Integral Program for Substitution of Illicitly Used Crops] with the Territorial Renovation Agency in the framework of the implementation of the Development Programs with a Territorial Focus (PDET), as well as with the Land Agency, the Rural Development Agency, and the Agriculture Ministry itself.
That’s from page 14 of a July report from Colombia’s Ideas for Peace Foundation think-tank.
Colombia’s peace accord provides a huge opportunity to reverse generations-old failings that hold back the country’s development. Especially the lawlessness and abandonment in the countryside that enable coca cultivation.
But if this soup of agencies with unclear mandates and poor coordination is what’s going to implement the accord’s coca provisions—well, we can predict the outcome, can’t we.