Ecuador and Colombia Agree on a Binational Action Program to Strengthen Border Security
By Dialogo April 12, 2011
A working group led by the Ecuadorean vice minister of defense, Rosa Mercedes Pérez, and her Colombian counterpart, Rafael Guarín, established overall guidelines for strengthening border security between the two countries at meetings in Quito on 4 and 5 April.
These meetings resulted in agreement on a Binational Action Program to Strengthen Border Security containing twenty-one wide-ranging action items, according to the Ecuadorean Defense Ministry.
The actions are directed toward strengthening border security, along twenty-one wide-ranging lines of action directed toward strengthening security in the border area and increasing the exchange of information and the capacity to better confront threats to security.
The document additionally establishes a follow-up and evaluation mechanism chaired by the vice defense ministers, who will hold biannual meetings to evaluate the program’s implementation and recommend other measures to promote progress in bilateral cooperation. This agreement also fits in with the work of the Binational Border Commission (COMBIFRON).
In order to implement the road map, six working groups have been created, made up of officials from the defense ministries and armed forces of both nations, in the areas of measures for monitoring mobility and informal border crossings, communication strategy in the border area, civic-military actions, development-support actions (protection of the population, indigenous communities, and prevention of enlistment in criminal groups), illegal mining and biodiversity protection, monitoring the trafficking of arms, ammunition, and explosives, and other areas of cooperation.
The delegations included, in addition to the vice defense ministers, the Colombian vice minister for the Defense Social and Business Group and the Ecuadorean deputy secretary of defense for development, as well as officers of the armed forces. The agreement will be signed by the Ecuadorean and Colombian defense ministers.