EASO COI Report. Country Focus


The purpose of this report is to provide relevant information for the assessment of international protection status, including the determination of refugee status and subsidiary protection.

This report is organised into the following chapters:

Chapter 1 provides an overview of recent developments in the economy, security situation, the implications of institutional duality, demonstrations, abuses by authorities and monitoring, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chapter 2 gives a brief summary on recent developments on the humanitarian situation and its impact on migration flows, health care, food security and access and availability of basic services such as electricity, gas, and water.

Chapter 3 discusses the most recurring targeted profiles by the government and its security forces.

Chapter 4 describes the security situation at the border with Colombia. The chapter provides information on the main armed actors present at the border, main criminal activities, and state protection for victims of crime in that area of the country.

Chapter 5 reports on the colectivos, including types, activities, recruitment, areas of operation, targeted profiles, modus operandi, financing and support from the government, relationship with security forces and state response for victims of colectivos.

Chapter 6 provides information on two sets of documents: documents related to identification, and those related to courts and criminal proceedings.

Chapter 7 gives information on entry and exit procedures. Information on the actual procedures was scarce among the sources consulted. Available information included in the report centres on irregular border crossings, the treatment upon entry and exit of critics of the government, and the situation of returnees.

Chapter 8 discusses the situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans (LGBT) persons, including legislation, discrimination and violence, the situation of LGBT organisations, and state recourse.

This COI report is a joint initiative of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees (IGC). It builds on the first joint COI workshop between EASO and IGC, which covered Colombia and Venezuela and was held in Geneva in September 2019.

This report was drafted by James Restrepo. Mr. Restrepo is an independent expert on Country of Origin Information (COI), particularly for Latin America, having worked 9 years in the Research Directorate of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) of Canada and with over 12 years of combined experience researching migration issues in the region in both academic and institutional roles. Mr. Restrepo has led COI research missions to Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, and El Salvador, as well as numerous COI capacity-development projects in the Americas.

The following national asylum and migration departments contributed by reviewing this report:

- Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) of Canada, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

- Norway: Norwegian Country of Origin Information Centre, Landinfo

- Switzerland: State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), Division Analysis (Länderanalyse SEM)

- United States: Refugee Asylum and International Operations (RAIO), US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

In addition, EASO and IGC reviewed this report.

The drafting of this report was finalised on 20 July 2020. Any event taking place after this date is not included in this report.

This report was written according to the EASO COI Report Methodology (2019).


The policy implemented by the Commissioner General is based on a thorough analysis of accurate and up-to-date information on the general situation in the country of origin. This information is collated in a professional manner from various, objective sources, including the EASO, the UNHCR, relevant international human rights organisations, non-governmental organisations, professional literature and coverage in the media. When determining policy, the Commissioner General does not only examine the COI Focuses written by Cedoca and published on this website, as these deal with just one aspect of the general situation in the country of origin. The fact that a COI Focus could be out-of-date does not mean that the policy that is being implemented by the Commissioner General is no longer up-to-date.

When assessing an application for asylum, the Commissioner General not only considers the actual situation in the country of origin at the moment of decision-making, he also takes into account the individual situation and personal circumstances of the applicant for international protection. Every asylum application is examined individually. An applicant must comprehensively demonstrate that he has a well-founded fear of persecution or that there is a clear personal risk of serious harm. He cannot, therefore, simply refer back to the general conditions in his country, but must also present concrete, credible and personal facts.

There is no policy paper for this country available on the website.