As of June 2023, the Colombian Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (Esmad) will begin to operate under the name of Unit for Dialogue and Maintenance of Order; In addition, it will have significant modifications in its uniforms and functions, since it will be divided into two groups.
The first is the dialogue group, identified by a blue vest and white helmet, who will be in charge of mediating with the protesters in situations such as removing roadblocks.
While, the second group is that of specialized intervention, which will act in the demonstrations when there is a disturbance of public order and an effective dialogue has not been established. This group will retain their traditional appearance, wearing the familiar black armor and overalls with their full name on them.
Despite the transformation towards a unit more focused on dialogue, the uniformed officers will continue to carry less lethal weapons. However, changes have been introduced in the use of some of these tools. For example, the device known as Venom, which launches balls with great force, can only be used from a vehicle roof and not at ground level, according to the new protocols.
Additionally, a new tank has been incorporated that has been adapted inside to be used as a space for dialogue with the protesters and even for the transfer of the wounded. These imposing vehicles have also changed their color to gray, to distinguish themselves from the black tankettes authorized to intervene in riots.
The main objective of the Unit for Dialogue and Maintenance of Order is to avoid confrontation during protests, seeking to establish an environment conducive to dialogue between the authorities and the protesters. Although significant changes have been made, the use of force is expected to be the last resort and the peaceful resolution of conflicts is prioritized within the framework of respect for human rights.