Through our working documents, we seek to share the outcomes of our IntegriData and research agenda with members of the public, academics, public officials and other interested parties.
Our analysis and recommendations are aimed at reducing incidences of impunity by improving the effectiveness and function of anti-corruption institutions, the justice administration system, and the network of plans, programs and public policies that are in place to fight corruption.
The role of Uriel in electoral processes
- In total, the URIEL platform has received 35,577 complaints about electoral processes in 10 years (the period 2014-2021), with increased use during elections. However, there are major differences between Colombia’s different regions when it comes to the crimes and electoral irregularities that are reported. The Andean region is where there is the highest concentration of complaints.
- Of the total complaints filed, 98% correspond to complaints made from within the country and 2% from abroad. Within Colombia, 44% of the total complaints are concentrated within just four departments: Antioquia, Cundinamarca, Tolima, Valle del Cauca and Bogotá, D.C.
- Over fifteen different entities that receive complaints are part of the URIEL platform. Of these, only one – the Ministry of the Interior – records information on the site as part of its activities. Not even the Attorney General’s Office — the entity that receives the largest number of referrals from URIEL does this.
- In total, from 2014 to 2021, URIEL has spent a budget that totals over 4 billion Colombian pesos. During the years 2017, 2018 and 2019, 6.9% of the total budget was spent. While in 2014 and 2020, 44% of the available total was used.
Second Findings Report
- Between 2007 and 2018, the Supreme Court of Justice issued 62 sentences against people involved with parapolitics. Only two of them were acquitted. As of Legislative Act 1. Of 2018, which granted the right to appeal convictions retrospectively, a challenge has been requested for five of the sentences. 83% of the sentences were for members of the Legislative Branch.
- Data from the Superior Council of the Judiciary confirms the trend identified in the First Findings Report. It found tht the main indicators of the administration of justice decreased in 2020 when compared to previous years in terms of the number of convictions/acquittal decisions, the number of people convicted with acceptance of charges/ pre-agreements, the number of judgments issued, among other factors. However, it is of paramount importance that we identify and understand the reason why the figures between the two entities differ so much.
- Between 2014 and 2020, the Comptroller General of the Republic issued 2,121 rulings on fiscal responsibility, of which 51.7% declared the existence of responsibility, 44.6% were rulings without responsibility, and 3.7% were mixed rulings. The total value of rulings with fiscal responsibility amounts to 1.14 billion Colombian pesos.
- Entities that are not subject to direct surveillance are those with the highest amount of associated capital loss (445 billion Colombian pesos). Likewise, the health sectors (279 billion Colombian pesos), mines and energy (106 billion Colombian pesos), and infrastructure (80 billion Colombian pesos), are listed.
- The department of Tolima registers the largest number of rulings with fiscal responsibility between 2014 and 2020 (78 rulings), while the department of Casanare accumulates the largest total for rulings with fiscal responsibility, amounting to 120 billion Colombian pesos.
Public Policy Recommendations
- A National Public Policy to Fight Corruption must be developed, where the main objective is the prevention, investigation and punishment of incidences of corruption. This policy must be the roadmap for inter-institutional action in anti-corruption by the Colombian State.
- The Transparency Secretariat should be the designated entity within the Executive Branch with a permanent inter-institutional presence in all situations that include direct or indirect involvement in the fight against corruption in Colombia.
- The National Public Commission for the Fight against Corruption must be a consultative body within the National Government, the National Ethics Commission and other inter-institutional spaces in the fight against corruption.
- The Judicial Branch, control bodies and the electoral organization must make greater use of Colombia’s Open Data platform for the centralization, unification, verification and publication of publicly accessible information in real time.
Zero Impunity Electoral Bulletin
- 65% of irregularities reported to the Attorney General’s Office between 2014 and 2020 correspond to the purchase of votes, followed by irregularities in the counting of votes (15.3%).
- Of the total disciplinary proceedings brought against voting jurors and for irregularities in the counting of votes, 81 were open and 1,194 were inactive. Of this last group, 856 were archived, 17 received an acquittal and 2 received a punitive decision.
- 59% of the requests to revoke the registration of candidates in the 2014 and 2018 elections came from members of the public. In 11 cases, the candidacy was effectively revoked, all for the year 2014. The party whose candidacies were most revoked was the Green Party.
First Findings Report
- In 2020, incidences of crimes against the public administration, involving public servants in positions of popular election, increased versus previous years (2014-2019).
- The social control exercised over the registration of candidates in local elections (2015 and 2019) was low: while only 7% of the requests to revoke registrations were filed by members of the public, political parties and movements filed 20% and Colombia’s Procuraduria General de la Nación (Inspector General’s Office) 73%.
- Various indicators of the judicialization of criminal proceedings for crimes against the public administration and against mechanisms of democratic participation decreased in 2020, compared to previous years’ figures. For example, arrest legalizations, preclusions, acceptances of charges, and pre-agreements all dropped. In addition, the application of the principles of opportunity and convictions in criminal proceedings for crimes against the public administration also decreased.
- Between 2014 and 2020, 7,367 criminal proceedings were filed for crimes against the mechanisms of democratic participation and against the public administration due to the impossibility of finding or establishing the passive subject, despite the fact that in these crimes the affected party is the State.
- Between 2014 and 2020, 50 sentences were handed down against people accused of crimes against the public administration or mechanisms of democratic participation: 13 were acquittals, 36 were convictions, and in one case, one was convicted of some charges and acquitted of others.