The Search for Accountability and Transparency in PLAN COLOMBIA: Reforming Judicial Institutions--Again

  • May 01, 2001
  • Dr Luz E Nagle

The author argues that confidence in an efficient, courageous and transparent judiciary goes to the very heart of the governability of Colombia, and that Plan Colombia does not address the root causes of Colombia's problems. These are weak government, inequality, absence of citizen participation, corruption and an ineffective legal system. Fundamental reforms in Colombia should begin by directly strengthening the moral legitimacy of the government, holistically enhancing socioeconomic development, and meticulously reforming the legal system, thus reestablishing the rule of law. The rule of law, in turn, is critical to the achievement of the ultimate purposes of Plan Colombia--peace, prosperity, and the strengthening of the state. Systemic reform requires well-conceived, long-term, and careful implementation. Unless thinking and actions are reoriented to deal with these realities, the alternative is social calamity, criminal anarchy, and civil war.