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Colombia

After four years of up-and-down negotiations, the Colombian government and rebel FARC guerrillas signed a peace agreement in November 2016. To implement it, the country must now deploy major financial, institutional and human resources to address the inequalities that sustained the conflict for five decades. Working on the conflict since 2002, Crisis Group has published more than 36 reports and briefings and had over 500 meetings with all parties. We monitor deal implementation and carry out field research on issues ranging from local corruption to drug trafficking and local institutions. We are well-positioned to influence all stakeholders in the peace process in order to support sustainable and inclusive peace efforts in Colombia.   

CrisisWatch Colombia

Unchanged Situation

Political tensions continued amid disappearance of ex-Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) commander, while violence between armed groups remained high. After former FARC commander and current Congressman Jesús Santrich went missing 30 June from FARC demobilisation zone on Colombia/Venezuela border, Supreme Court issued arrest warrant for Santrich 9 July, day he was due to attend court on charges of drug smuggling; President Duque 1 July claimed Santrich “wants to evade justice” while FARC 9 July released statement reiterating commitment to peace process. UN Security Council 11-14 July visited Colombia, calling on govt to protect FARC ex-combatants and community activists, move forward on transitional justice and promote rural reform; Duque 12 July asked for extension of UN Mission in Colombia. National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla-related violence continued; ELN 4 July bombed Attorney General’s Office in Ocaña (north east), on 55th anniversary of group’s foundation, and 18 July attacked army base in Samaniego, Nariño (south west) with improvised mortar, causing loss of power. ELN 4 July called on govt to restart negotiations; govt refused and said Venezuelan govt directly protects ELN and FARC dissidents. Dissident-related violence remained high; dissidents 10 July attacked police truck in Caquetá (south), injuring three soldiers. Dissident group Steven González Front 12 July clashed with army in Cumbitara, Nariño, reportedly killing several soldiers. Humanitarian groups early July said ongoing violence between FARC dissidents and ELN confined over 1,000 people in Chocó (west). Attacks on activists continued; unidentified attackers 3 July killed social leader Tatiana Paola Posso Espitia in El Copey, Cesar (north).

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

8 Aug 2019
As long as each side [in Venezuela] pursues a winner-take-all approach, they are less willing to make concessions and a deal will remain elusive. Associated Press

Phil Gunson

Senior Analyst, Andes
5 Jul 2019
A former FARC negotiator and member of its Central High Command, alias Jesús Santrich, abandoned his security detail on Saturday night and has since gone missing. Who is he, why is there talk of scandal and what does this mean for Colombia’s peace process? A thread Twitter

Kyle Johnson

Senior Analyst, Colombia
29 Jun 2018
It’s essential that the state will take responsibility for [FARC fighters] basic needs so that they can become an integrated part of Colombian society. [The healthcare issue] raises the fundamental question that goes through the whole implementation of the peace process, which is: how much has the Colombian state oversold itself? News Deeply

Ivan Briscoe

Program Director, Latin America and Caribbean
25 Mar 2018
El Eln [colombiano] estuvo en consultas internas hasta el martes pasado y si en esas reuniones acordaron hacer un desescalamiento podríamos estarlo viendo en este momento. Vanguardia

Kyle Johnson

Senior Analyst, Colombia
13 Mar 2018
Increased prices can be charged to [Venezuelan] migrants because of their sheer desire to cross [the border to reach Colombia]. IRIN

Ivan Briscoe

Program Director, Latin America and Caribbean
6 Mar 2018
[Colombia's FARC-EP guerrilla] is one of the few conflicts that has been solved at a negotiating table in recent decades, so I think we really have to support it, and make sure it does not fail. Prensa Latina

Robert Malley

President & CEO

Latest Updates

EU Watch List / Global

Watch List 2019 – Second Update

Watch List Updates complement International Crisis Group’s annual Watch List, most recently published in January 2019. These early-warning publications identify major conflict situations in which prompt action, driven or supported by the European Union and its member states, would generate stronger prospects for peace. The second update to the Watch List 2019 includes entries on Colombia, Ethiopia, Iran and Libya.

EU Watch List / Global

Watch List 2018 – Third Update

Crisis Group’s third update to our Watch List 2018 includes entries on economic reforms in Libya, preserving the fragile quiet in Syria’s Idlib province, addressing the plight of civilians in eastern Ukraine, supporting Colombia's uneasy peace process and averting violence in Nigeria's upcoming elections. This annual early-warning report identifies conflict situations in which prompt action by the European Union and its member states would generate stronger prospects for peace.

Colombia’s Uneasy Peace and Troubled Borders

President Iván Duque Márquez entered office in August 2018 as armed groups expand and the humanitarian situation in neighbouring Venezuela drives thousands across the border every day. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2018 annual early-warning update for European policy makers, Crisis Group urges the EU to work to shore up the peace agreement and help Colombia respond to the humanitarian emergency.
 

Also available in Español

The Missing Peace: Colombia’s New Government and Last Guerrillas

Talks in Havana with the ELN, Colombia’s last insurgency, are advancing at a slow pace. Backed by international actors, the current government and guerrilla negotiators should aim for rapid progress in negotiations to minimise the chance of a sceptical incoming president abandoning the peace process.

Also available in Español

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Kyle Johnson

Senior Analyst, Colombia
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