icon caret Arrow Down Arrow Left Arrow Right Arrow Up Line Camera icon set icon set Ellipsis icon set Facebook Favorite Globe Hamburger List Mail Map Marker Map Microphone Minus PDF Play Print RSS Search Share Trash Crisiswatch Alerts and Trends Box - 1080/761 Copy Twitter Video Camera  copyview Whatsapp Youtube

Colombia

CrisisWatch Colombia

Unchanged Situation

FARC dissident faction suffered new setback in neighbouring Venezuela, and violence continued notably along Pacific coast. Two senior commanders of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) dissident faction Segunda Marquetalia, Henry Castellanos (alias Romaña) and Hernán Darío Velásquez (alias El Paisa), killed 5 Dec in Venezuela’s Apure state; local media including Colombian news outlet Caracol in following days said rival FARC dissident 10th Front suspected of carrying out attacks, though details remain unclear; killings strike symbolic blow to Segunda Marquetalia, which last May lost senior commander Jesús Santrich. In Norte de Santander department near Venezuelan border, bomb blasts 14 Dec killed two police officers at airport in Cúcuta city; one suspected suicide bomber also killed. Defence Minister Diego Molano immediately condemned “terrorist” act, said it bore hallmark of FARC dissident groups and National Liberation Army (ELN), though neither claimed responsibility. Also in Norte de Santander, suspected members of 33rd FARC Dissident Front early Dec clashed with other armed groups and 5 Dec reportedly threw grenade at voting station for election of municipal youth council in Tibú municipality, injuring three soldiers and two civilians. Meanwhile, fighting continued along Pacific coast. In Cauca department, FARC dissident faction Carlos Patiño Front 6 Dec announced armed strike in parts of Argelia municipality in attempt to cement territorial control, amid competition with Segunda Marquetalia and ELN for control of drug trafficking routes; 14 Dec lifted strike, but demanded change in military command in area. Indigenous communities from across Cauca 10 Dec marched to Cali, main city of Pacific coast, to protest rising levels of violence and lack of state response. Army 29 Dec said it had found corpses of seven men in rural area of Putumayo department (south), blamed FARC dissidents. Justice Minister Wilson Ruiz 2 Dec announced possible resumption of aerial fumigation of coca crops in Feb 2022; move follows National Environmental Licensing Agency’s approval of govt’s environmental impact plan for spraying, one of several pending conditions set in 2017 by Constitutional Court to restart aerial fumigation. Country’s Registrar 22 Dec released official list of candidates for presidential and congressional elections scheduled to begin 13 March.

Continue reading

Reports & Briefings

In The News

30 Nov 2021
Today, the commitment of ex-combatants [of FARC] to remaining in civilian life is visible across Colombia and deserves the full support of the international community. Washington Post

Elizabeth Dickinson

Senior Analyst, Colombia
29 May 2021
There is no armed or military solution to this crisis [in Colombia]. But agendas on all sides are increasingly tempted to look for one. Al Jazeera

Elizabeth Dickinson

Senior Analyst, Colombia
6 May 2021
There is no way you could credibly claim that any armed or criminal group is motivating or coercing protesters to the street [in Colombia]. Al Jazeera

Elizabeth Dickinson

Senior Analyst, Colombia
26 Apr 2021
There’s a lot of work to be done to fix social cohesion [in Colombia] because violence is at times the default answer, which is a legacy of so many years of conflict. The Telegraph

Elizabeth Dickinson

Senior Analyst, Colombia
13 Sep 2020
The history in Colombia is when you start a wave of violence it accelerates and it’s very hard to stop. New York Times

Elizabeth Dickinson

Senior Analyst, Colombia
1 Nov 2019
The string of assassinations of indigenous leaders in Cauca illustrates some of the fundamental tensions at the center of the debate about protection for human rights defenders in Colombia. Twitter

Elizabeth Dickinson

Senior Analyst, Colombia

Latest Updates

The Pandemic Strikes: Responding to Colombia’s Mass Protests

In Colombia’s history of protest, the 2021 mobilisations against inequality and police brutality stand out for their breadth and intensity. Unrest has quieted for now but could soon return. The government should urgently reform the security sector while working to narrow the country’s socio-economic chasms.

Also available in Español

Protests in Colombia

In this testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, Crisis Group expert Elizabeth Dickinson analyses the protests that have swept the streets of Colombia, fuelled by economic inequality, and urges the U.S. government to support Colombia in its pursuit of a peaceful resolution.

COVID-19, Inequality and Protests in Colombia

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Crisis Group experts Renata Segura and Beth Dickinson about protests across Colombia, the inequality and police violence that are motivating people to take to the streets, and prospects for reform.

Pandemic Gloom and Police Violence Leave Colombia in Turmoil

Colombia’s cities, towns and countryside are aflame with popular protests. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Elizabeth Dickinson traces the unrest’s origins to inequality, police impunity and the government’s seeming aloofness from the street.

Also available in Español

Our People

Elizabeth Dickinson

Senior Analyst, Colombia
dickinsonbeth