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General Information

GDP USD377.74bn (World ranking 31, World Bank 2014)
Population 48.93 million (World ranking 28, World Bank 2014)
Form of state Republic
Head of government Juan Manuel SANTOS
Next elections 2018, presidential

CURRENT LOCAL TIME

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PRODUCTS IN COLOMBIA

Data Protection

Contribution Details

Gómez-Pinzon Zuleta abogados s.a.

santiago Jaramillo caro

Law

Article 15 of the Colombian Constitution sets forth fundamental rights to intimacy, good name or reputation and data protection.

Law 1266/08 (“Law 1266”), reviewed by the Colombian Constitutional Court in Decision C 1011/08, regulates the collection, use and transfer of personal information regarding monetary obligations related to credit, financial and banking services.

Law 1581 of 2012 (“Law 1581”), reviewed by the Colombian Constitutional Court in Decision C-748/11, contains comprehensive personal data protection regulations. This law is intended to implement the constitutional right to know, update and rectify information gathered about them in databases or files, enshrined in Article 20 of the Constitution, as well as other rights, liberties and constitutional guarantees referred to in Article 15 of the Constitution.

Accordingly Law 1581 applies to: (i) personal data stored in any public or private database or files; (ii) any treatment of personal data in Colombia; and (iii) operations performed by individuals who are not located in Colombia but are subject to the jurisdiction of Colombian Law under international standards and treaties.

Under Law 1581, the data owner (data subject) must always give prior, express and informed

consent for all activities pertaining the collection, use and transfer of personal data,

except those that are specifically exempted from all or part of the Law, which includes the processing of credit data under Law 1266.

Definition of Personal Data

Law 1266 defines “personal data” as any information related to one or several identified or identifiable persons or which can be associated with an individual or a legal entity. Personal data may be public, semi private or private. Semi private data is data that is not deemed private, sensitive or public.

Under Law 1581, the definition of “personal data” specifically includes information related to or that may be related to one or several identified or identifiable natural or legal persons.

Definition of sensitive Personal Data

Under Law 1266 “private data” is data that, due to its sensitive or confidential nature, is relevant only to the data owner. For example, data that pertains to the right to intimacy may be deemed sensitive data under Colombian law.

Under Law 1581 “sensitive data” is data that relates to the intimacy of the data owner, or that, if disclosed without consent, could lead to discrimination, such as data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political orientation, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade-union membership, social organizations, human rights organizations, or those organizations that promote the interests of any political party or that ensure the rights and guarantees of opposition political parties, as

well as data relating to health, sexual life and biometrics.

National Data Protection authority

Two different governmental authorities were designated as data protection authorities by Law

1266: The Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (“SIC”) and the Superintendency of Finance (“SFC”). As a general rule, the SIC will be the data protection authority, unless the administrator of the data is a company that performs financial or credit activities under oversight of the SFC as set forth in applicable law, in which case the SFC will also serve as a data protection authority.

The SIC is the sole data protection authority responsible for monitoring compliance with the principles, rights, guarantees and procedures provided under Law 1581.

Registration

Law 1581 created the National Register of Databases as a public directory of all databases operating in the country. This Register will be managed by the SIC, and may be consulted by any citizen.

Data Protection officers

Neither Laws 1266 nor 1581 require organizations to appoint a data protection officer. However,

data processors and data controllers are obliged to maintain adequate security levels for the protection of databases, as well as an administrative infrastructure to respond to data owner’s requests and claims.

Collection and Processing

Under Law 1266 and Decision C 1011, as a general rule the collection and cross border transfer of Private and Semi private Data can be performed only with the prior consent of the data owner unless an exception applies. The exceptions, set forth in Article 5 of Law 1266, permit personal data to be disclosed or delivered directly, without consent, to the following and in the following conditions:

  • To the data owner or to a person to whom the owner has authorized such disclosure;
  • To data users;
  • To any judicial authority, pursuant to a judicial order;
  • To Government Agencies or entities, when the data is required for the performance of legal or constitutional functions;
  • To the Administrative Authorities who require such data for disciplinary, fiscal or
  • administrative investigations; or
  • To other databases that have the same purpose as the one of the disclosing data processor

(but see Decision C 1011 below) or to databases as authorized by the data owner.

Under the interpretation in Decision C 1011, the Private and Semi Private Data of data owners may be disclosed in the foregoing cases, if the following conditions are observed:

  • Except for the disclosure to the data owner, judicial authorities, governmental agencies, and administrative authorities, the disclosure can be performed only if the data owner gives his or her prior consent; or
  • When the data is delivered to governmental agencies, they will be deemed to act as data users and will have all the corresponding obligations which include those pertaining to confidentiality, restricted circulation, and security of data.
  • Similar to Law 1266, according to article 10 of Law 1581, any operation performed on personal data requires the prior, express and informed consent from the data owner except in the following cases:
  • Data required by a public or administrative agency in performance of their duties or required by a court order;
  • Data that it is deemed public data;
  • Data related to medical emergencies;
  • Data related to historical, statistical or scientific purposes; and
  • Data related to the Civil Registration of Persons.
  • Similarly, article 13 states that personal data can be disclosed without consent to the following:
  • To the data owners, their successors or their legal representatives;
  • To any administrative authority, when the data is required for the performance of public
  • duties, or pursuant to a judicial order; or

To third persons to whom the owner has authorized such disclosure, or who are authorized

by law.

International transfer

Under Law 1581, the cross border transfer of data is prohibited unless the foreign country where the data will be transferred meets at least the same data protection standards as the ones provided under Colombian law. This prohibition also applies to personal data governed by Law 1266.

Adequate levels of data protection will be determined in accordance with the standards set by the Data Protection Authority.

This prohibition against cross-border transfers does not apply in the following cases:

  • If the data owner has expressly and unambiguously authorized the cross-border transfer of data (notice of specific elements, including destination and usage, must be given for consent to be effective);
  • Exchange of medical data;
  • Bank transfers and stock;
  • Transfers agreed under international treaties to which the Colombia is a party;
  • Transfers necessary for the performance of a contract between the data owner and the controller, or for the implementation of pre-contractual measures provided there is consent of the owner; and
  • Transfers legally required in order to safeguard the public interest.

Security

As mentioned, Law 1266 provides that data processors must implement security systems with technical safeguards to ensure the safety and accuracy of the data, and to prevent damage, loss, and unauthorized use or access of the data.

Similarly, Law 1581 requires that data protection processors and controllers implement the necessary technical, physical, and administrative safeguards to ensure the safety of databases and to prevent their damage, loss, and unauthorized use or access.

Breach notification

Article 17-N of Law 1581 requires notice to the DPA of certain security risks or violations of security policies related to the management of personal data. Other than this obligation, currently there are no specific breach notification regulations in Colombia.

Enforcement

Data Protection Authorities are allowed to initiate administrative investigations against those

who breach the provisions of Laws 1266 or Law 1581 and impose penalties of up to 2,000

Minimum Monthly Legal Wages (approx. US$670.000) for each case, and sanctions that include the temporary or permanent closure of the professional or commercial activities of the subject who breached the data protection regime.

The penalties under Law 1581 only apply to private persons. If an offense is committed by a public authority, the SIC shall refer the action to the Attorney General’s Office to initiate the respective investigation.

Additionally, on 5 January 2009 Colombia’s Congress enacted Act 1273, which added an “Information and Data Protection” criminal offence to Colombia’s Criminal Code. In particular, Article 269F states: “Violation of Personal Data: Anyone who, without being authorized to do

so, to its own benefit or for a third party, obtains, compiles, subtracts, offers, sells, exchanges, sends, buys, intercepts, discloses, modifies or uses personal codes, personal data contained in files, archives, databases or similar means, will be held liable for imprisonment for a term of forty eight (48) to ninety six (96) months and a fine.”

Finally, data owners have the right to file, before any Colombian judge, a special constitutional

action “Acción de Tutela” (Constitutional Writ of Protection) to have their fundamental right to privacy, data protection or habeas data protected. This Constitutional Writ of Protection involves a preferential and summary proceeding under which the pertinent court must issue a decision within the 10 days following the date on which the action is filed. This means

that in those cases in which the right to privacy, to intimacy or to habeas data is affected, an expeditious action could be implemented to protect the fundamental rights of the individual. In this regard, Decree 2591/91 expressly provides that an Acción de Tutela can be filed against a private individual or company that violates Article 15 of the Colombian Constitution.

In general terms, a court granting an Acción de Tutela that involves habeas data will issue a decision ordering that data be rectified, updated or deleted. Failing to observe a Court’s ruling could result in an imprisonment order against the defendant for a period up to 10 days.

Electronic Marketing

Electronic Marketing is regulated by Law 527/99. The general rule is that opt-in consent from a data subject is required in order to send electronic marketing materials.

online Privacy (including cookies and Location Data)

In general, consent is required to use cookies and other tracking mechanisms to collect any data that could be used to identify an individual; consent may generally be obtained via the user’s acceptance to the privacy policy if the use of cookies (and the way to disable them) is fully disclosed in the privacy policy. IP address may be considered personal data; however, currently there is no official opinion or law addressing whether IP address is personal information.

Also, under the principle of access and restricted delivery enshrined in Article 4 of Law 1581, personal data may not be available on the Internet or in other mass media, unless the access

is technically controllable to ensure access is available only to data owners or authorized third parties. This prohibition applies unless the information is public data, in which case its disclosure and circulation is possible within the limits established by law.

(Law 190 of 6 June 1995)

Article 177 of the Penal Code shall remain as follows:

Article 177.

Receipt, legalization and concealment of property derived from illicit activities. Any person who, with the exclusion of cases of complicity in the offence, conceals, insures, transforms, invests, transfers, looks after, transports, administers or purchases the material object or proceeds therefrom, or gives to property derived from such activity the appearance of legality or legalizes such property, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of three (3) to eight (8) years, provided that the act is not an offence punishable by a more severe penalty.

The sentence incurred shall be four (4) to twelve (12) years of imprisonment if the value of the property constituting the material object or proceeds from the punishable act exceeds one thousand (1,000) minimum legal monthly salary payments at the time of commission of the act.

The sentence incurred on the basis of the preceding paragraphs shall increase from one half to three quarter parts in the following cases:

1、 If the property constituting the material object or proceeds from the punishable act is derived from the offences of abduction, extortion or any of the offences referred to in Law 30 of 1986.

2、If, for the purpose of committing the act(s), exchange or foreign trade transactions are performed, goods are introduced into national customs territory or contacts are made with persons subject to inspection, surveillance or supervision by the Banking or Securities Superintendencies.

3、If the person committing the act is an importer or exporter of goods or services, or is a director, administrative officer, legal representative, auditor or other official of any agency subject to inspection, surveillance or supervision by the Banking or Securities Superintendencies, or is a shareholder or partner in such agency holding a share equal to or greater than ten per cent (10%) of its paid-up capital or the value of the cooperative shares.

Law No. 599 of July 24, 2000, issuing the Penal Code, was amended by Law No. 813 of July 2, 2003.

Abstract:The Penal Code contains 19 part and 476 articles altogether. The Colombia Criminal Code (law 599 of 24 July 2000) established an ample range of corruption offences in articles 397 to 434, such as public embezzlement, bribery, undue signing of contracts, traffic in influence, illicit enrichment, abuse of power, most of which are punished with imprisonment, fines and in habilitation. Article 433 of the Criminal Code establishes transnational bribery, which is normally referred to as bribery of foreign public officials.

TITULO XV

DELITOS CONTRA LA ADMINISTRACION PUBLICA

CAPITULO PRIMERO

Del peculado

Artículo 397. Peculado por apropiación. El servidor público que se apropie en provecho suyo o de un tercero de bienes del Estado o de empresas o instituciones en que éste tenga parte o de bienes o fondos parafiscales, o de bienes de particulares cuya administración, tenencia o custodia se le haya confiado por razón o con ocasión de sus funciones, incurrirá en prisión de seis (6) a quince (15) años, multa equivalente al valor de lo apropiado sin que supere el equivalente a cincuenta mil (50.000) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes, e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas por el mismo término.

Si lo apropiado supera un valor de doscientos (200) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes, dicha pena se aumentará hasta en la mitad. La pena de multa no superará los cincuenta mil salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes.

Si lo apropiado no supera un valor de cincuenta (50) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes la pena será de cuatro (4) a diez (10) años e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas por el mismo término y multa equivalente al valor de lo apropiado.

Artículo 398. Peculado por uso. El servidor público que indebidamente use o permita que otro use bienes del Estado o de empresas o instituciones en que éste tenga parte, o bienes de particulares cuya administración, tenencia o custodia se le haya confiado por razón o con ocasión de sus funciones, incurrirá en prisión de uno (1) a cuatro (4) años e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas por el mismo término.

Artículo 399. Peculado por aplicación oficial diferente. El servidor público que dé a los bienes del Estado o de empresas o instituciones en que éste tenga parte, cuya administración, tenencia o custodia se le haya confiado por razón o con ocasión de sus funciones, aplicación oficial diferente de aquella a que están destinados, o comprometa sumas superiores a las fijadas en el presupuesto, o las invierta o utilice en forma no prevista en éste, en perjuicio de la inversión social o de los salarios o prestaciones sociales de los servidores, incurrirá en prisión de uno (1) a tres (3) años, multa de diez (10) a cincuenta (50) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes, e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas por el mismo término.

Artículo 400. Peculado culposo. El servidor público que respecto a bienes del Estado o de empresas o instituciones en que éste tenga parte, o bienes de particulares cuya administración, tenencia o custodia se le haya confiado por razón o con ocasión de sus funciones, por culpa dé lugar a que se extravíen, pierdan o dañen, incurrirá en prisión de uno (1) a tres (3) años, multa de diez (10) a cincuenta (50) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de funciones públicas por el mismo término señalado.

Artículo 401. Circunstancias de atenuación punitiva. Si antes de iniciarse la investigación, el agente, por sí o por tercera persona, hiciere cesar el mal uso, reparare lo dañado o reintegrare lo apropiado, perdido, extraviado, o su valor, la pena se disminuirá en la mitad.

Si el reintegro se efectuare antes de dictarse sentencia de segunda instancia, la pena se disminuirá en una tercera parte.

Cuando el reintegro fuere parcial, el juez deberá, proporcionalmente, disminuir la pena en una cuarta parte.

Artículo 402. Omisión del agente retenedor o recaudador. El agente retenedor o autorretenedor que no consigne las sumas retenidas o autorretenidas por concepto de retención en la fuente dentro de los dos (2) meses siguientes a la fecha fijada por el Gobierno Nacional para la presentación y pago de la respectiva declaración de retención en la fuente o quien encargado de recaudar tasas o contribuciones públicas no las consigne dentro del término legal, incurrirá en prisión de tres (3) a seis (6) años y multa equivalente al doble de lo no consignado sin que supere el equivalente a cincuenta mil (50.000) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes.

En la misma sanción incurrirá el responsable del impuesto sobre las ventas que, teniendo la obligación legal de hacerlo, no consigne las sumas recaudadas por dicho concepto, dentro de los dos (2) meses siguientes a la fecha fijada por el Gobierno Nacional para la presentación y pago de la respectiva declaración del impuesto sobre las ventas.

Tratándose de sociedades u otras entidades, quedan sometidas a esas mismas sanciones las personas naturales encargadas en cada entidad del cumplimiento de dichas obligaciones.

Parágrafo. El agente retenedor o autorretenedor, responsable del impuesto a las ventas o el recaudador de tasas o contribuciones públicas, que extinga la obligación tributaria por pago o compensación de las sumas adeudadas, según el caso, junto con sus correspondientes intereses previstos en el Estatuto Tributario, y normas legales respectivas, se hará beneficiario de resolución inhibitoria, preclusión de investigación, o cesación de procedimiento dentro del proceso penal que se hubiera iniciado por tal motivo, sin perjuicio de las sanciones administrativas a que haya lugar.

Artículo 403. Destino de recursos del tesoro para el estímulo o beneficio indebido de explotadores y comerciantes de metales preciosos. El servidor público que destine recursos del tesoro para estimular o beneficiar directamente o por interpuesta persona, a los explotadores y comerciantes de metales preciosos, con el objeto de que declaren sobre el origen o procedencia del mineral precioso, incurrirá en prisión de dos (2) a cinco (5) años, en multa de cien (100) a quinientos (500) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes, e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas por cinco (5) años.

En la misma pena incurrirá el que reciba con el mismo propósito los recursos del tesoro, o quien declare producción de metales preciosos a favor de municipios distintos al productor.

CAPITULO SEGUNDO

De la concusión

Artículo 404. Concusión. El servidor público que abusando de su cargo o de sus funciones constriña o induzca a alguien a dar o prometer al mismo servidor o a un tercero, dinero o cualquier otra utilidad indebidos, o los solicite, incurrirá en prisión de seis (6) a diez (10) años, multa de cincuenta (50) a cien (100) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes, e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas de cinco (5) a ocho (8) años.

CAPITULO TERCERO

Del cohecho

Artículo 405. Cohecho propio. El servidor público que reciba para sí o para otro, dinero u otra utilidad, o acepte promesa remuneratoria, directa o indirectamente, para retardar u omitir un acto propio de su cargo, o para ejecutar uno contrario a sus deberes oficiales, incurrirá en prisión de cinco (5) a ocho (8) años, multa de cincuenta (50) a cien (100) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes, e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas de cinco (5) a ocho (8) años.

Artículo 406. Cohecho impropio. El servidor público que acepte para sí o para otro, dinero u otra utilidad o promesa remuneratoria, directa o indirecta, por acto que deba ejecutar en el desempeño de sus funciones, incurrirá en prisión de cuatro (4) a siete (7) años, multa de cincuenta (50) a cien (100) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes, e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas de cinco (5) a ocho (8) años.

El servidor público que reciba dinero u otra utilidad de persona que tenga interés en asunto sometido a su conocimiento, incurrirá en prisión de dos (2) a cinco (5) años, multa de treinta (30) a cincuenta (50) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes, e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas por cinco (5) años.

Artículo 407. Cohecho por dar u ofrecer. El que dé u ofrezca dinero u otra utilidad a servidor público, en los casos previstos en los dos artículos anteriores, incurrirá en prisión de tres (3) a seis (6) años, multa de cincuenta (50) a cien (100) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes, e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas de cinco (5) a ocho (8) años.

CAPITULO CUARTO

De la celebración indebida de contratos

Artículo 408. Violación del régimen legal o constitucional de inhabilidades e incompatibilidades. El servidor público que en ejercicio de sus funciones intervenga en la tramitación, aprobación o celebración de un contrato con violación al régimen legal o a lo dispuesto en normas constitucionales, sobre inhabilidades o incompatibilidades, incurrirá en prisión de cuatro (4) a doce (12) años, multa de cincuenta (50) a doscientos (200) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes, e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas de cinco (5) a doce (12) años.

Artículo 409. Interés indebido en la celebración de contratos. El servidor público que se interese en provecho propio o de un tercero, en cualquier clase de contrato u operación en que deba intervenir por razón de su cargo o de sus funciones, incurrirá en prisión de cuatro (4) a doce (12) años, multa de cincuenta (50) a doscientos (200) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes, e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas de cinco (5) a doce (12) años.

Artículo 410. Contrato sin cumplimiento de requisitos legales. El servidor público que por razón del ejercicio de sus funciones tramite contrato sin observancia de los requisitos legales esenciales o lo celebre o liquide sin verificar el cumplimiento de los mismos, incurrirá en prisión de cuatro (4) a doce (12) años, multa de cincuenta (50) a doscientos (200) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes, e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas de cinco (5) a doce (12) años.

CAPITULO QUINTO

Del tráfico de influencias

Artículo 411. Tráfico de influencias de servidor público. El servidor público que utilice indebidamente, en provecho propio o de un tercero, influencias derivadas del ejercicio del cargo o de la función, con el fin de obtener cualquier beneficio de parte de servidor público en asunto que éste se encuentre conociendo o haya de conocer, incurrirá en prisión de cuatro (4) a ocho (8) años, multa de cien (100) a doscientos (200) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes, e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas de cinco (5) a ocho (8) años.

CAPITULO SEXTO

Del enriquecimiento ilícito

Artículo 412. Enriquecimiento ilícito. El servidor público que durante su vinculación con la administración, o quien haya desempeñado funciones públicas y en los dos años siguientes a su desvinculación, obtenga, para sí o para otro, incremento patrimonial injustificado, siempre que la conducta no constituya otro delito, incurrirá en prisión de seis (6) a diez (10) años, multa equivalente al doble del valor del enriquecimiento sin que supere el equivalente a cincuenta mil (50.000) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes, e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas de seis (6) a diez (10) años.

CAPITULO SEPTIMO

Del prevaricato

Artículo 413. Prevaricato por acción. El servidor público que profiera resolución, dictamen o concepto manifiestamente contrario a la ley, incurrirá en prisión de tres (3) a ocho (8) años, multa de cincuenta (50) a doscientos (200) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes, e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas de cinco (5) a ocho (8) años.

Artículo 414. Prevaricato por omisión. El servidor público que omita, retarde, rehuse o deniegue un acto propio de sus funciones, incurrirá en prisión de dos (2) a cinco (5) años, multa de diez (10) a cincuenta (50) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes, e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas por cinco (5) años.

Artículo 415. Circunstancia de agravación punitiva. Las penas establecidas en los artículos anteriores se aumentarán hasta en una tercera parte cuando las conductas se realicen en actuaciones judiciales o administrativas que se adelanten por delitos de genocidio, homicidio, tortura, desplazamiento forzado, desaparición forzada, secuestro, secuestro extorsivo, extorsión, rebelión, terrorismo, concierto para delinquir, narcotráfico, enriquecimiento ilícito, lavado de activos, o cualquiera de las conductas contempladas en el título II de este Libro.

CAPITULO OCTAVO

De los abusos de autoridad y otras infracciones

Artículo 416. Abuso de autoridad por acto arbitrario e injusto. El Servidor público que fuera de los casos especialmente previstos como conductas punibles, con ocasión de sus funciones o excediéndose en el ejercicio de ellas, cometa acto arbitrario e injusto, incurrirá en multa y pérdida del empleo o cargo público.

Artículo 417. Abuso de autoridad por omisión de denuncia. El servidor público que teniendo conocimiento de la comisión de una conducta punible cuya averiguación deba adelantarse de oficio, no dé cuenta a la autoridad, incurrirá en multa y pérdida del empleo o cargo público.

La pena será de dos (2) a cuatro (4) años de prisión si la conducta punible que se omitiere denunciar sea de las contempladas en el delito de omisión de denuncia de particular.

Artículo 418. Revelación de secreto. El servidor público que indebidamente dé a conocer documento o noticia que deba mantener en secreto o reserva, incurrirá en multa y pérdida del empleo o cargo público.

Si de la conducta resultare perjuicio, la pena será de uno (1) a tres (3) años de prisión, multa de quince (15) a sesenta (60) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes, e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas por cinco (5) años.

Artículo 419. Utilización de asunto sometido a secreto o reserva. El servidor público que utilice en provecho propio o ajeno, descubrimiento científico, u otra información o dato llegados a su conocimiento por razón de sus funciones y que deban permanecer en secreto o reserva, incurrirá en multa y pérdida del empleo o cargo público, siempre que la conducta no constituya otro delito sancionado con pena mayor.

Artículo 420. Utilización indebida de información oficial privilegiada. El servidor público que como empleado o directivo o miembro de una junta u órgano de administración de cualquier entidad pública, que haga uso indebido de información que haya conocido por razón o con ocasión de sus funciones y que no sea objeto de conocimiento público, con el fin de obtener provecho para sí o para un tercero, sea éste persona natural o jurídica, incurrirá en multa y pérdida del empleo o cargo público.

Artículo 421. Asesoramiento y otras actuaciones ilegales. El servidor público que ilegalmente represente, litigue, gestione o asesore en asunto judicial, administrativo o policivo, incurrirá en multa y pérdida del empleo o cargo público.

Si el responsable fuere servidor de la rama judicial o del Ministerio Público la pena será de prisión de uno (1) a tres (3) años, e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas por cinco (5) años.

Artículo 422. Intervención en política. El servidor público que ejerza jurisdicción, autoridad civil o política, cargo de dirección administrativa, o se desempeñe en los órganos judicial, electoral, de control, que forme parte de comités, juntas o directorios políticos, o utilice su poder para favorecer o perjudicar electoralmente a un candidato, partido o movimiento político, incurrirá en multa y pérdida del empleo o cargo público.

Se exceptúan de lo dispuesto en el inciso anterior los miembros de las corporaciones públicas de elección popular.

Artículo 423. Empleo ilegal de la fuerza pública. El servidor público que obtenga el concurso de la fuerza pública o emplee la que tenga a su disposición para consumar acto arbitrario o injusto, o para impedir o estorbar el cumplimiento de orden legítima de otra autoridad, incurrirá en prisión de uno (1) a cuatro (4) años, multa diez (10) a cincuenta (50) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas por cinco (5) años, siempre que la conducta no constituya delito sancionado con pena mayor.

Artículo 424. Omisión de apoyo. El agente de la fuerza pública que rehuse o demore indebidamente el apoyo pedido por autoridad competente, en la forma establecida por la ley, incurrirá en prisión de uno (1) a cuatro (4) años e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas por cinco (5) años.

CAPITULO NOVENO

De la usurpación y abuso de funciones públicas

Artículo 425. Usurpación de funciones públicas. El particular que sin autorización legal ejerza funciones públicas, incurrirá en prisión de uno (1) a dos (2) años.

Artículo 426. Simulación de investidura o cargo. El que únicamente simulare investidura o cargo público o fingiere pertenecer a la fuerza pública, incurrirá en multa.

Artículo 427. Circunstancia de agravación punitiva. Las penas señaladas en los anteriores artículos serán de uno (1) a cuatro (4) años cuando la conducta se realice con fines terroristas.

Artículo 428. Abuso de función pública. El servidor público que abusando de su cargo realice funciones públicas diversas de las que legalmente le correspondan, incurrirá en prisión de uno (1) a dos (2) años e inhabilitación para el ejercicio de derechos y funciones públicas por cinco (5) años.

CAPITULO DECIMO

De los delitos contra los servidores públicos

Artículo 429. Violencia contra servidor público. El que ejerza violencia contra servidor público, para obligarlo a ejecutar u omitir algún acto propio de su cargo o a realizar uno contrario a sus deberes oficiales, incurrirá en prisión de uno (1) a tres (3) años.

Artículo 430. Perturbación de actos oficiales. El que simulando autoridad o invocando falsa orden de la misma, o valiéndose de cualquier otra maniobra engañosa, trate de impedir o perturbar la reunión o el ejercicio de las funciones de las corporaciones o autoridades legislativas, jurisdiccionales o administrativas, o de cualquier otra autoridad pública, o pretenda influir en sus decisiones o deliberaciones, incurrirá en multa.

El que realice la conducta anterior por medio de violencia incurrirá en prisión de tres (3) a cinco (5) años.

CAPITULO ONCE

De la utilización indebida de información
y de influencias derivadas del ejercicio de función pública

Artículo 431. Utilización indebida de información obtenida en el ejercicio de función pública. El que habiéndose desempeñado como servidor público durante el año inmediatamente anterior utilice, en provecho propio o de un tercero, información obtenida en calidad de tal y que no sea objeto de conocimiento público, incurrirá en multa.

Artículo 432. Utilización indebida de influencias derivadas del ejercicio de función pública. El que habiéndose desempeñado como servidor público durante el año inmediatamente anterior utilice, en provecho propio o de un tercero, influencias derivadas del ejercicio del cargo o de la función cumplida, con el fin de obtener ventajas en un trámite oficial, incurrirá en multa.

Artículo 433. Soborno transnacional. El nacional o quien con residencia habitual en el país y con empresas domiciliadas en el mismo, ofrezca a un servidor público de otro Estado, directa o indirectamente, cualquier dinero, objeto de valor pecuniario u otra utilidad a cambio de que éste realice u omita cualquier acto en el ejercicio de sus funciones, relacionado con una transacción económica o comercial, incurrirá en prisión de seis (6) a diez (10) años y multa de cincuenta (50) a cien (100) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes.

Artículo 434. Asociación para la comisión de un delito contra la administración pública. El servidor público que se asocie con otro, o con un particular, para realizar un delito contra la administración pública, incurrirá por ésta sola conducta en prisión de uno (1) a tres (3) años, siempre que la misma no constituya delito sancionado con pena mayor.

Si interviniere un particular se le impondrá la misma pena.

Police Background Check Procedures

Applications can only be made within Colombia. However, individuals have obtained a check by writing to the police force directly.
Colombian Nationals only: https://antecedentes.policia.gov.co:7005/WebJudicial/antecedentes.xhtml

What must the applicant supply?

• Passport
• List of dates spent within the country

Contact details:

Head of the Identification Group of the Security
Administrative Department (DAS)
Carrera 28 No. 17 A 00 Bogota D.C.
Colombia
Tel: 091 4088000, ext: 1100 and 1110
Embassy of Colombia 3 Hans Crescent
London
SW1X 0LN
Tel: 020 7589 9177/5037
Fax: 020 7581 1829
Email: elondres@cancilleria.gov.co
Website: www.colombianembassy.co.uk
Consulate General
3rd Floor
35 Portland Place
London
W1B 1AE
Tel: 020 7637 9893 or 020 7927 7121
Fax: 020 7637 5604
Email: clondres@cancilleria.gov.co
Website: www.colombianconsulate.co.uk

Colombia – Know Your Customer (KYC) Rules

The Government of Colombia (GOC) is a regional leader in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. The GOC has a forceful anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) regime; however, the laundering of money from Colombia‘s illicit cocaine and heroin trade continues to penetrate its economy and affect its financial institutions. Laundered funds also are derived from commercial smuggling for tax and import duty evasion; kidnapping; arms trafficking; and terrorism connected to violent, illegally-armed groups and guerrilla organizations, including U.S. Government-designated terrorist organizations.

Both drug and money laundering organizations use a variety of methods to repatriate their illicit proceeds to Colombia. These methods include the Black Market Peso Exchange (BMPE), bulk cash smuggling, wire transfers, remittances, smuggled merchandise (contraband) and more recent methods, such as through the securities markets (both U.S. and Colombian), casinos, electronic currency and prepaid debit cards as well as illegal mining. Criminal elements have used the banking sector, and Colombian money brokers, primarily concentrated in Bogota, but also in Medellin and Cali, are additional entities that facilitate money laundering activities. The trade of counterfeit items in violation of intellectual property rights is an ever increasing method to launder illicit proceeds. Casinos, free trade zones (FTZs) and the postal money order market in Colombia present opportunities for criminals to take advantage of inadequate regulation and transparency.

Money laundering also has occurred via trade and the non-bank financial system, especially transactions that support the informal or underground economy. Trade-based money laundering by Colombian organizations with connections to Mexico, China, Ecuador, Peru and Panama has grown exponentially in recent years. In the BMPE, or trade-based money laundering scheme, goods from abroad (China has replaced the United States) are bought with drug dollars. Many of the goods are either smuggled into Colombia or brought directly into Colombia‘s customs warehouses, thus avoiding various taxes, tariffs and legal customs duties. In other trade-based money laundering schemes, goods are over-or-under invoiced to transfer value. According to people who have worked for years in the BMPE industry, evasion of the normal customs charges is frequently facilitated through the corruption of Colombian oversight authorities by the drug and money laundering groups.

Official corruption has also aided money laundering and terrorist financing in geographic areas controlled by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Although corruption of government officials remains a problem, President Juan Manuel Santos has taken a hard line on corruption and has demonstrated that he is serious about punishing corrupt officials at the highest level. Since Santos entered office, four former ministers, three former security directors of the Administrative Department, and other government officials have been dismissed from office, taken to court, or jailed.

In 2005, Colombia‘s Congress passed a comprehensive FTZ modernization law that opens investment to international companies, allows one-company or stand-alone FTZs, and permits the designation of pre-existing plants as FTZs. As of September 2011, there are 91 FTZs in Colombia. Companies within FTZs enjoy a series of benefits such as a preferential corporate income tax rate and exemption from customs duties and value-added taxes on imported materials. The Ministry of Commerce administers requests for establishing FTZs, but the government does not participate in their operation. The DIAN (Colombia‘s Tax and Customs Authority), regulates activities and materials in FTZs, and there are identification requirements for companies and individuals who enter or work in the FTZs. The Santos Administration is revising the FTZ and tax exemption scheme in order to limit their use in the near future.

KNOW-YOUR-CUSTOMER (KYC) RULES:

Enhanced due diligence procedures for PEPs:

A PEP is an abbreviation for Politically Exposed Person, a term that describes a person who has been entrusted with a prominent public function, or an individual who is closely related to such a person. The terms PEP, Politically Exposed Person and Senior Foreign Political Figure are often used interchangeably

    • Foreign PEP: NO
    • Domestic PEP: NO

Colombia – KYC covered entities

The following is a list of Know Your Customer entities covered by Colombian Law:

    • Banks
    • Stock exchanges and brokers
    • Mutual funds
    • Investment funds
    • Export and import intermediaries
    • Credit unions
    • Wire remitters
    • Money exchange houses
    • Public agencies
    • Notaries
    • Casinos
    • Lottery operators
    • Car dealers
    • Foreign currency traders

Colombia – Suspicious Transaction Reporting (STR) Requirements:

Number of STRs received and time frame: 4,904 January through August 2011

Number of CTRs received and time frame: 98,076 January through August 2011

The following is a list of STR covered entities covered by Colombian Law:

    • Banks
    • Decurities broker/dealers
    • Trust companies
    • Pension funds
    • Savings and credit cooperatives
    • Depository and lending institutions
    • Lotteries and casinos
    • Vehicle dealers
    • Currency dealers
    • Importers/exporters
    • International gold traders

MONEY LAUNDERING CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS/CONVICTIONS:

Prosecutions: 115 in 2010
Convictions: 95 in 2010

ENFORCEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES AND COMMENTS:

The Government of Colombia continues to make progress in the development of its financial intelligence unit, regulatory framework and interagency cooperation within the government. However, referrals from the Colombian UIAF (Financial Intelligence Unit) to the public ministry for ML/TF cases substantially decreased in 2011 and therefore prosecutions have decreased as well. Placing greater focus and priority on money laundering investigations, including increasing resources and training, will be necessary to ensure continued and improved progress. The GOC should take steps to foster better interagency cooperation, including coordination between the UIAF, Colombia‘s financial intelligence unit; National Police; Colombia‘s Trade Transparency Unit; and the tax and customs authority in order to combat the growth in contraband trade to launder illicit drug proceeds. Congestion in the court system, procedural impediments, and corruption remain problems that need to be addressed.

Colombian law lists specific predicate crimes upon which it bases money laundering violations. The included crimes generally involve illegal armed groups and criminal syndicates and their related activities.

The Colombian legal system has evolved with the introduction of the adversarial oral system. Related to this, the Prosecutor General‘s Office (Fiscalia), has undergone a transformation that has resulted in the loss of significant institutional knowledge and professional ability. This has been due, in large part, to a court decision requiring staffing changes whereby many experienced prosecutors were let go and new hires replaced them. The office is in the process of reconstructing its capabilities, but its effectiveness has been affected.

The Colombian Superintendency of Companies (SuperSociedades) has been working on new anti-money laundering regulations and know-your-customer regulations for the private sector that should be announced by the end of 2011.

While the Colombian financial system has banking controls and government regulatory processes in place, it is reported that drug and money laundering groups have influenced high level bank officials in order to circumvent both established anti-money laundering controls and government regulations.

Colombian law is unclear on the government‘s authority to block assets of individuals and entities on the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee‘s consolidated list. Banks are able to close accounts, but not to seize assets. Colombian law should be clarified to spell out the government‘s authority to block assets of individuals and entities on the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee‘s consolidated list.

The GOC should put in place streamlined procedures for the liquidation and sale of seized assets under state management and should revise procedures to permit expedited forfeiture of seized assets. A five to 15 year time frame for forfeiture opens opportunities for waste, fraud and abuse while limiting the deterrent effect that could result from rapid asset forfeiture. Colombian prosecutors could take steps to not only seize the physical assets (real property) of narcotics traffickers but also seize their bank accounts in Colombia. This element is frequently not a part of regular Colombian asset seizure operations. In addition, the GOC should increase the number of judges that oversee asset forfeiture and money laundering cases to expedite the judicial process.

The GOC works extensively with U.S. law enforcement agencies to identify, target and prosecute groups and individuals engaged in financial and drug crimes. The GOC should explore steps to foster increased cooperation between the UIAF and the U.S. Treasury Department‘s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as case exchanges substantially decreased in 2011.

Risk

Sovereign risk

Lower fiscal revenue from oil exports, due to weaker prices, will widen the fiscal deficit in 2015. However, the sovereign rating is supported by still-firm medium-term GDP growth prospects (notwithstanding this year’s slowdown) and sound macroeconomic policies. Recent deterioration in the public debt/GDP ratio, partly associated with a weaker currency, presents modest risk.

Banking sector risk

The banking system remains well managed, well capitalised and profitable. This year’s economic slowdown presents some risks for financial institutions, prin‘cipally in terms of the quality of their loan portfolios and potential volatility in investments in government debt, but these risks should be manageable.

Political risk

Violence related to internal conflict is still a problem, but Colombia benefits from strong institutions. A possible peace agreement with left-wing guerrillas in the medium term could further improve creditworthiness by gradually increasing institutional effectiveness and boosting GDP growth in the long term.

Economic structure risk

Commodity exports generate a high share of foreign earnings, increasing the economy’s exposure to external shocks. A persistent current-account deficit (which will increase notably in 2015, to 7% of GDP) and fiscal rigidities also weigh on the rating. However, Colombia has never defaulted, underpinning creditworthiness.

Travel Risk

Security

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice. In the event of a crisis situation that requires evacuation, the Government of Canada’s policy is to provide safe transportation to the closest safe location. The Government of Canada will assist you in leaving a country or a region as a last resort, when all means of commercial or personal transportation have been exhausted. This service is provided on a cost-recovery basis. Onward travel is at your personal expense. Situations vary from one location to another, and there may be constraints on government resources that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide assistance, particularly in countries or regions where the potential for violent conflict or political instability is high.

Illegal armed groups (see Advisory)

The presence of armed drug traffickers, guerrilla groups—including the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the National Liberation Army—and other armed groups pose a major risk to travellers, especially in rural areas. These groups continue to perpetrate attacks, extortion, kidnappings, car bombings and damage to infrastructure. Landmines continue to be used by guerrilla groups.

If you intend to travel to remote areas for eco-tourism or to visit archaeological sites despite this Advisory, you should do so with an experienced and reputable tour guide only. Plan your itinerary well in advance and seek professional security advice. Avoid travelling at night, stay at areas frequented by tourists, and follow the advice of local authorities. Note that you may be denied entry to certain areas by local authorities due to emerging security threats.

Terrorism

There are two known terrorist groups active in Colombia, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). Possible terrorist targets include military and police vehicles and installations, restaurants, underground garages, nightclubs, hotels, banks, shopping centres, public transportation vehicles, government buildings, and airports located in major cities. The Government of Colombia continues negotiations with the FARC to bring an end to the conflict; however, there is currently no ceasefire in place. Remain vigilant, avoid any unattended packages or parcels, and bring them to the attention of security personnel. Follow the advice and instructions of local authorities and monitor media for updates. Avoid travel to the areas of the country listed in the Advisories section.

Crime

Although there have been significant improvements to Colombia’s security situation, petty and violent crime, including pickpocketing, assault, robbery, car bombing, hijacking and murder, is still common throughout the country. Exercise extreme caution, dress down, avoid wearing jewellery and keep cameras and electronic equipment out of sight. Carry minimal sums of money and leave your passport and other travel documents locked in your hotel safe.

Arrive at Medellín’s José Maria Córdova International Airport during the day to avoid the road from the airport to the city after dark.

Remain vigilant and be aware of your surroundings at all times when travelling in larger cities, such as Bogotá, Medellín and Cali. Muggings and assaults occur even in safer parts of these cities, and some neighbourhoods should be avoided at all times due to high crime rates. Check with your hotel or other reliable contacts in the city you are visiting to determine which areas should be avoided.

There has been an increase in assaults and robberies against foreigners at hostels in Colombia, particularly in Bogotá and Cartagena. If you opt to stay at hostels, be highly vigilant and carefully evaluate your personal security situation.

Avoid the southern parts of Bogotá, especially the neighbourhoods of Soacha and Ciudad Bolivar. Avoid the downtown area (Candelaria and surrounding neighbourhoods) after dark, and avoid the neighbourhoods of Kennedy and Usaquen (north of calle 153) at all times.

In Medellín, avoid the city centre after dark and avoid areas not covered by the metro system. Although some of the “comunas” (municipalities on the periphery of the city) are serviced by the cablecar system (“Metrocable”), you should avoid them at all times.

In Cali you should remain in the hotel zone and the south of the city; you should avoid all other parts of Cali. Violent crimes have recently been reported even in wealthier neighbourhoods and shopping malls.

Avoid going to bars alone. Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as they may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery. Drugs such as scopolamine have been reportedly blown into the faces of victims on the street. Exercise extreme caution when dealing with strangers.

Business travellers and Canadian companies establishing operations in Colombia should take enhanced security measures to protect both personnel and company assets. Choose living accommodations that have significant security measures in place, and modern office facilities. Consult the commercial section of the Embassy of Canada in Bogotá for more information and advice.

There have been reports of thieves posing as police officers and approaching foreigners to verify their documents or foreign currency. If approached, do not hand over money or documents unless you feel threatened—in which case you should not resist—and then request to do so at your hotel or other public place to maximize your safety.

National parks, wildlife refuges, and city outskirts are often convenient hideouts for illegal groups. Armed clashes are frequent in such areas. If visiting these destinations, remain in tourist areas, as they are usually safer and are more frequently patrolled by police.

In the tourist resort areas of San Andrés Island, Providencia Island and Cartagena, criminal activity and violence directed at tourists is low compared to other destinations in the region. Exercise common sense and normal security precautions in these areas.

Kidnapping

Colombia has one of the highest kidnapping rates in the world. While kidnapping is primarily aimed at Colombians, foreigners can be targeted by guerrilla groups in all parts of the country, especially foreigners working for (or perceived to be working for) oil and mining companies.

“Express kidnappings” are frequent and often occur in affluent areas as well as in tourist areas. Victims are usually kidnapped from the street and forced to withdraw funds from an automated banking machine (ABM). Victims are sometimes held overnight so that a second withdrawal can be made the next day. Victims may be sexually assaulted during the kidnapping. Uncooperative victims have been injured or killed.

Demonstrations and civil unrest

Demonstrations, major strikes, and acts of violence by terrorist groups may occur. Avoid all large gatherings and demonstrations, especially in large cities, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.

Road travel

Road travel in Colombia, including Bogotá, is extremely dangerous. Most roadways are in poor condition and are often congested. Traffic laws are not enforced by police, traffic signs and controls are ignored, and drivers are frequently distracted and can be aggressive and/or drunk. Pedestrians do not have the right of way, including at stop signs.

When travelling by car, place all belongings in the trunk and keep your doors locked at all times. Carry a cellular telephone and park your car in a guarded parking lot.

In some rural areas, illegal armed groups may set up roadblocks targeting the well‘off for robbery or kidnapping for ransom. Roadblocks may disrupt local transportation and affect travel to and from airports.

Travel by air when covering long distances and do not enter or leave Colombia over land borders. Any road travel should be done during the day using main roads only. Road closures may occur between Bogotá and Villavicencio and in the Magdalena Medio region (Barrancabermeja), and are more frequent in the departments of Guajira, Bolívar, Antioquia, Santander, Norte de Santander and Putumayo.

Avoid travelling on the Pan-American highway in the south-west departments of Colombia, where a series of explosions has occurred since late 2014.

Public transportation

Public transportation is not safe; buses and, to a lesser extent, taxis are frequent targets for criminals. Rural buses are often stopped by guerrillas. Do not hail taxis on the street, as express kidnappings often occur in unlicensed taxis; rather, book them through your hotel or through an authorized and controlled taxi centre and take note of the licence plate number. If you have to hail a taxi on the street, avoid cabs without licence plates and do not enter a cab if it is already occupied by anyone but the driver. Many taxi drivers are armed. Smartphone applications are available that allow you to order safe taxis, which are monitored by GPS.

See Transportation Safety in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Emergency services

Dial 123 for ambulance services.

Address Format

RECIPIENT

STREET_NAME [HOUSE_NUMBER] [SUBBUILDING]
LOCALITY POSTALCODE
COLOMBIA

Sample

Hotel Casa Paulina
Calle Maria 63 Oficina 702
Bogota 4665684
Colombia

Summary

Calendar GMT Reference Actual Previous Consensus Forecast
2014-09-16 05:00 PM Q2 4.3% 6.5% (R) 4.6% 4.99%
2014-12-15 04:00 PM Q3 4.2% 4.3% 4.3% 4.12%
2015-03-17 04:10 PM Q4 3.5% 4.2% 4.0% 4.07%
2015-06-22 10:00 PM Q1 3.5% 3.89%
2015-09-21 05:00 PM Q2 3.85%
2015-12-17 05:00 PM Q3 3.85%

 

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