Origin of the Ministry of the Interior
The Ministry was conceived by the 1886 Political Constitution of Colombia, which, under the Twelfth Title ‘Cabinet Ministers’ provided that the Administrative Divisions of the Executive Branch would be exercised by Ministries. Then, Law 7 of 25 August of the same year, endorsed by President Rafael Núñez, provided for the establishment of such entities, including the Ministry of Government.
At the onset, the Ministry was entrusted with the functions of police and national gendarmerie. The National Archive, the Postal Service and Telegraphs office, and the hygiene and health aspects were also part of this office.
The Ministry of Government was also in charge of the Supreme Court, the civil courts, the criminal courts, the penitentiary system, the notary public offices, the Public Ministry, the registrars of public and private deeds, and the mortgage registrars. Moreover, the Ministry was in charge of organizing the elections and the identification of electoral subjects or electoral businesses. The latter took place until the creation of the electoral organization in 1948.
In 1975, when the Administrative Department of Intendancies and Commissariats (Departamento Administrativo de Intendencias y Comisarías - DAINCO) was created, the Ministry controlled Intendances, Police stations and the National Territories. In 1991, after the reorganization of the Administrative Department of the Presidency (Departamento Administrativo de la Presidencia), the prevention and disaster attention responsibilities were assigned to the Ministry.
The Directorate for African-Colombian Communities Affairs was added to the internal structure of the Ministry of Government, aimed at formulating policies for this population group, pursuant to the High Level Consultative Commission.
In 1995, under the administration of President Andrés Pastrana Arango, and by means of Law 199, the Ministry of Government name was changed to Ministry of the Interior. This time, the Ministry was in charge of formulating and adopting the policies corresponding to the following matters: territorial planning and autonomy; relations between the State and the territorial entities regarding the decentralization policy and institutional development, among others.
In 2003, in furtherance of Law 790 of 2002, sanctioned by President Alvaro Uribe Vélez, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice and Law were merged.
On 4 May 2011, President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón sanctioned Law 1444, which provided for the division of the Ministry of the Interior and Justice and, finally, on 11 August 2011, under Decree 2893, the Ministry of Interior was renewed.
Act 1444 – 4 May 2011:
"WHEREBY SOME MINISTRIES ARE DIVIDED, ACCURATE AND SPECIAL POWERS ARE GRANTED UPON THE PRESIDENT TO MODIFY THE STRUCTURE OF THE PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND THE STRUCTURE OF GENERAL PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE PERSONNEL AND OTHER PROVISIONS ARE ISSUED"
Decree 2893 – 11 August 2011:
"WHEREBY THE OBJECTIVES, ORGANIC STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONS OF THE MINISTRY OF INTERIOR ARE MODIFIED AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE SECTOR OF GOVERNMENT IS INTEGRATED”