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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

Govt refused to reciprocate National Liberation Army (ELN) Christmas truce, fuelling fears it may abandon the currently-suspended peace process, while Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) dissident groups continued to strengthen and carry out violence across country. ELN 17 Dec announced unilateral truce 23 Dec-3 Jan; govt responded that armed forces would continue to operate throughout country, including against ELN; President Duque reiterated conditions to continue talks with ELN are release of kidnapping victims and end to criminal activities. ELN attack on road between Medellín, Antioquia province (north west) and Caribbean coast killed civilian 8 Dec. In continuing FARC dissident violence, 33rd front dissident group 10 Dec reportedly kidnapped ten Venezuelan refugee minors in town of La Gabarra, Catatumbo (north east); military 21 Dec killed alias “Guacho”, leader of dissident Oliver Sinisterra front, in operation near Ecuadoran border (south west). In other violence, unknown assailants 17 Dec shot and killed six people including teenage boy in Mapiripán, Meta (centre), in area where First front FARC dissident group and Puntilleros drug trafficking group both operate. Authorities 4 Dec killed Puntilleros commander alias “Puntilla” during operation in Medellín. Reports emerged that in early Oct, certain FARC dissident leaders and ELN mid-level commanders met in Venezuela to coordinate economic activities along Venezuelan border area and discuss political cooperation. Country’s largest drug trafficking group Gaitanista Self-Defence Forces (AGC) declared unilateral truce 8 Dec-10 Jan. Political killings of community activists continued, including murder of two indigenous leaders in Cauca 6-7 Dec. FM Carlos Holmes Trujillo 30 Dec announced govt had uncovered “credible” plot to assassinate President Duque, and had arrested three Venezuelans in connection with alleged plot earlier in Dec.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

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
5 Mar 2018
There is a massive diversity of views [in Colombia]. But the sense that only through compromise can you bring about peace tends to be much stronger in those areas that suffered the worst violence. U.S. News

Ivan Briscoe

Program Director, Latin America and Caribbean
2 Mar 2018
[Colombia's FARC leader] Timochenko’s discourse has to do with trying to pressure the government, not only for FARC’s own political game but also because of the elections coming up. Colombia Reports

Kyle Johnson

Senior Analyst, Colombia

Latest Updates

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

¿Se puede derrotar militarmente al Eln?

Negociar sigue siendo la mejor opción frente al Eln. Sin embargo, el grupo recientemente ha minado fuertemente la viabilidad política de la negociación en más de una ocasción. Si no se le puede derrotar y no parece querer negociar en serio, ¿qué se debería hacer? 

Originally published in El Espectador

¿Tienen futuro las negociaciones con el ELN?

La decisión del gobierno colombiano de levantarse de la mesa después del atentado en Barranquilla profundiza la crisis del proceso de negociación con el Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN). Las divisiones internas del ELN y el hecho de no pactar otro cese al fuego podrían darle el golpe de gracia a las negociaciones.

Originally published in Razón Pública

Security and Electoral Perils for Colombia’s Peace Accord

Growing distrust of Colombia’s outgoing government combined with deteriorating security in rural areas is undermining faith in the country’s peace accord. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2018, Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to engage with opposition leaders to discuss the costs of ditching the deal.

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Kyle Johnson

Senior Analyst, Colombia
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