The Colombian National Police and the Politics of Crime Control Evaluations


The Colombian National Police inaugurated a comprehensive operational model in 2010. Informed by evidence-based law enforcement models from the Global North, the MNVCC, or the National Quadrant Policing Model, integrates core features of procedural justice, hotspots, problem-oriented and community policing strategies. Just under a decade old, empirical assessments of the model’s impact vary in quality and availability. While the Colombian National Police presents the model as a successful intervention, there is little consensus on the degree to which the MNVCC has affected crime rates or perceptions of insecurity. The core purpose of this paper is to offer insight into the political factors that enable this contradictory narrative. Relying on privileged access to high-level administrators inside the Colombian National Police and other institutions, this study explains how structural features of official crime data—with political incentives specific to the Colombian context—provide the basis for contradicting claims surrounding the MNVCC’s impact.


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Published: 2019-10-21
Pages:18 to 32
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How to Cite
León, K. S. (2019) “The Colombian National Police and the Politics of Crime Control Evaluations”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 8(4), pp. 18-32. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v8i4.1101.

Author Biography

Kenneth Sebastian León is an Assistant Professor of Latino and Caribbean Studies and a faculty affiliate of the Criminal Justice Program at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. He specializes in crimes of the powerful, with a focus on the colonial-carceral functions of contemporary justice systems.  Previously, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at George Washington University (GWU) and a contracted researcher of transnational organized crime at the National Institute of Justice (2016-2017). Justice systems research in this area include collaborative studies of the Colombian National Police, the Honduran National Police, and the recruitment and retention of Latina/o/x police officers in New Jersey. His first book, Corrupt Capital-Nightlife, Vice, and Crimes of the Powerful is forthcoming with Routledge, Series on Crimes of the Powerful. Additional scholarship appears in Critical Criminology; Crime, Law and Social Change; Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology; Journal of Psychoactive Drugs; and Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice and Criminology.

Dr. León currently serves as the Managing Editor for the Journal of White-Collar and Corporate Crime, a SAGE publication affiliation with a Division of the American Society of Criminology.