By Douglas Hernández
In the Colombian popular language a “re-parcero” or “re-parce” (his diminutive), is a very close friend. The National Civic Participation Network, plays a word game with its acronym REPARC, which phonetically sounds the same as “re-parce”. It is a name that suggests friendship.
The concept is similar to the Elipse Unified Command and Control Center, which was also developed by the Colombian state company CODALTEC, and which seeks to coordinate security services and emergency response in cities. In Elipse, citizens report emergencies through an APP and an internet portal, information then being centralized on a platform, with geo-positioning.
The REPARC system is also based on an APP that citizens can download from the internet and install on their smartphones, but its intention is different and far-reaching. Here it is about getting millions of citizens to become informants, and to voluntarily notify the authorities about different crimes that could be committed. This platform has modules on citizen security, corruption, and emergency and disaster management.
It is important to point out that the information from REPARC is reported directly to the Presidency of the Republic, showing the government team the statistics, allowing to give specific orders to the different governmental organizations, and to demand specific results.
President Iván Duque, since his political campaign, spoke about the National Civic Participation Network. Upon assuming the Presidency he instructed that this network be set up, and therefore both the Army and the National Police created local networks of people who reported special situations through phone calls, WhatsApp messages, or email. With the REPARC APP, everything is facilitated.
The National Civic Participation Network, proposed by President Duque, resembles in its purpose the so-called Cooperant Network that was promoted by former President Álvaro Uribe during his term, and which caused much controversy at the time. Mainly because it included people from the so-called “paramilitary” groups, which were basically terrorist groups of the extreme right, who came to cooperate with elements of the government to commit serious crimes. It must be however recognized that the effectiveness of the authorities increases when the population cooperates and reports the crimes.
The REPARC system is being presented at Expodefensa 2019, as part of the CODALTEC portfolio. Colonel Diego Hernández told EDR On-Line that in an ideal context, the REPARC would work on a national basis, integrated with the Elipse operating system in the different cities. In this way, the authorities would work in a coordinated manner at the different levels, and would be supervised from the Presidency itself, with the massive support of the population.
Photos by Paolo Valpolini