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

In November 2016 the government and FARC rebels signed an agreement ending five decades of guerrilla war. To consolidate this achievement, the state must redress the inequalities that sustained that conflict as well as make peace with Colombia’s last major insurgency, the ELN. Crisis Group has worked on Colombia’s conflicts since 2002, publishing over 40 reports and briefings and meeting hundreds of times with all parties in support of inclusive peace efforts. We monitor the FARC deal’s progress and carry out field research on issues ranging from ELN talks to drug trafficking to Colombia’s relations with its troubled neighbour, Venezuela. 

CrisisWatch Colombia

Unchanged Situation

Territorial contests between armed groups continued to afflict populations in rural areas. Suspected Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) dissidents 5 Dec killed at least four members of indigenous community in Santander de Quilichao municipality, Cauca department (south west). National Liberation Army (ELN) guerillas 3-15 Dec imposed armed strike in Iscaundé and Guapi municipalities in south-western Nariño and Cauca departments respectively, prohibiting car and boat transport and reportedly confining over 4,000 people to their homes. Suspected ELN combatants 27 Dec killed family of five, including former FARC combatant, in Montecristo municipality, Bolívar department (north). Meanwhile, violence persisted in Antioquia department (north west) as drug trafficking group Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia (AGC) battled splinter groups; notably, spate of AGC attacks 11-13 Dec killed at least seven civilians in Caucasia and El Bagre municipalities. Govt 4 Dec reiterated 31 Dec deadline for armed group turned political party FARC to turn over economic proceeds from decades-long conflict; FARC 15 Dec reiterated official position that all assets have been declared or provided to govt. Govt pursued efforts to restart aerial fumigation of coca crops, paused in 2015, despite vocal opposition from civil society organisations, which argue fumigation poses health, social and environmental risks, and effects on reducing cocaine supply still unclear. Environmental Licensing Authority 19 Dec held public audience; meeting was one of final steps required by Constitutional Court to restart spraying. 

Continue reading

Reports & Briefings

In The News

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
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

Former 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

Former Senior Analyst, Colombia

Latest Updates

Being a community leader in Colombia comes at a high price

 

Colombia’s grassroots leaders face a rising tide of attacks as they campaign for conflict-stricken communities’ rights. These assaults weaken the peace accord, undermine its base of popular support and expose the state’s grave difficulties in protecting communities from forces with vested interests and violent designs. Protecting these leaders, deterring their enemies and ensuring their communities’ safety should be put at the heart of security policy.

Colombia: Peace Withers amid the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare shortcomings in the implementation of the FARC peace agreement. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2020 – Autumn Update, Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to continue pushing for full implementation of the 2016 accord and encouraging the government to pursue a humanitarian ceasefire with the National Liberation Army (ELN).

Also available in Español
Q&A / Latin America & Caribbean

Police Killing Rouses Colombia’s Lockdown Furies

In early September, demonstrations against police brutality erupted in Colombia’s capital and other cities. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Elizabeth Dickinson explains that reactions to the unrest have exposed the country’s political polarisation amid anxieties about the coronavirus and the 2016 FARC peace agreement.

Also available in Español

Broken Ties, Frozen Borders: Colombia and Venezuela Face COVID-19

Geography, economics and migration patterns dictate that Colombia and Venezuela, which severed diplomatic ties in 2019, will confront the coronavirus pandemic together. The two countries should temporarily mend their relations, and the Venezuelan factions should pause their duel, to allow for a coordinated humanitarian response.

Also available in Español

Under a Merciless Sun: Venezuelans Stranded Across the Colombian Border

As Venezuela’s economy plumbs the depths of collapse, a new cohort of refugees is trekking across parched landscapes to Colombia. It consists of the most vulnerable, including poor expectant mothers, unaccompanied children and the sick, people with no defence against the predations of armed bands.

Also available in Español

Our People

Elizabeth Dickinson

Senior Analyst, Colombia
dickinsonbeth