by Paolo Valpolini
The 6th edition of Expodefensa, which takes place this December 4-6 at the Corferias premises, downtown Bogotá, will definitely be a different exhibition compared to the past five. While in late November 2015 the situation between the Colombian Government and the FARC was looking promising, it was only in spring 2016 that the peace process was finalised. Today, Colombia is in a post-conflict situation, counter-insurgency being not anymore the mantra of its Police and Armed Forces. Nowadays the Police is reverting to its public order role, a recent visit to the factory that manufactures its uniforms showed that from a 70-30 ratio between tactical and issue uniforms the data has now reverted to 30-70, showing how much the Police is back in “blue”, leaving the “green” to the Army. As for the Armed Forces, these are also shifting back to a more conventional role, not dismissing of course counterinsurgency, a mission that will remain anyway part of their DNA for quite some time. An experience that might even become a plus, should Colombian forces be involved in multinational operations, in which asymmetry is a frequent scenario. Some tensions on its eastern borders, as well as the possible engagement in Un missions require a shift not only in training and doctrine, but also in equipment acquisition, and Expodefensa 2017, organised by the Colombian Ministry of Defence-CODALTEC, CORFERIAS and COGES, should certainly be the first opportunity for confronting Colombian requirements with industry proposals.
The EDR Magazine team will do its best to keep its readers informed not only on what the over 250 exhibitors propose in the booths at Corferias, but also on the feelings that will run through an exhibition that might mark a turning point in the Colombian military and homeland security forces.