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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

Iván Duque from Democratic Centre party sworn in as new president 7 Aug; in his speech advocated corrections to peace agreement with Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and stated that govt would take 30 days to study negotiations with National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group before making decision on whether to continue them, prompting fears that ELN violence could increase upon end of negotiations. ELN 3 Aug kidnapped two civilians and four soldiers in Chocó (north west), stating they would be willing to free them as “humanitarian gesture” to new govt, and are willing to continue peace talks; Duque 10 Aug said govt would not be intimidated by kidnappings. ELN suspected of killing nine people in El Tarra, Catatumbo region (north east) 30 July, including former FARC members who had joined dissident groups. FARC dissident violence continued in Tumaco (south west) with clashes displacing 650 residents in city 1 Aug. Police 5 Aug captured second-in-command of Gaitán Self-Defence Forces (AGC, country’s largest drug trafficking group), alias Nicolás, in Antioquia province (north west). Duque 16 Aug announced 100-day police plan focusing on ten crimes that most affect citizen security including kidnapping and homicide. Clashes between ELN and AGC in Chocó during first weeks of Aug trapped some 3,700 indigenous people in their communities; police 26 Aug reported child killed and two indigenous women injured in ELN-AGC clash in Juradó. Senators formerly belonging to FARC 22 Aug proposed their first ever bill which would give lenient treatment to small-scale drug growing farmers who are willing to substitute their crops. Referendum on introducing tougher anti-corruption laws failed to pass 25 Aug due to turnout falling just short of required threshold, despite nearly 99% of voters supporting proposals.

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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

¿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.

Colombia’s Coca Boom

Over the last seven years, the government of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has worked strenuously to dissociate the country from its image as a cocaine exporter. In 2016, Santos struck a peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the guerrilla group that for years stood watch over coca farms and had become the wholesaler and arbiter of the cocaine trafficking business.

Originally published in Foreign Affairs

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Kyle Johnson

Senior Analyst, Colombia
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