HomeNewsBriefColombia & FARC Agree But Tough Drug Question Remains
BRIEF

Colombia & FARC Agree But Tough Drug Question Remains

COLOMBIA / 7 NOV 2013 BY DANIELA CASTRO EN

The Colombian government and Marxist guerrillas have negotiated a deal on ensuring rebel political participation, a key advance, moving the talks closer to the complex issue of the drug trade.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government reached an agreement on political participation -- the second of six items on the agenda at peace talks taking place in Havana, reported El Tiempo.

According to the joint statement released on November 6, the Colombian government and the FARC have reached a consensus on issues such as rights and guarantees for the exercise of political opposition and access to the media, democratic mechanisms of citizen participation, and effective promotion of greater political participation.

Another of the items set to be discussed is the "solution to the problem of illicit drugs," which is expected to draw a major discussion of alternative policies to combat drug trafficking in the country.

InSight Crime Analysis

After more than a year of talks between the FARC and the government of President Juan Manuel Santos, the reaching of an agreement on political participation is an important step towards a peace deal. Talks on the subject had previously stalled, amid claims the process was falling apart.

The issue of political participation is a sensitive one for the FARC, given precedent of the Patriotic Union (UP) -- a political movement established as an electoral vehicle for the FARC and its allies during peace talks in the 1980s.  It was subsequently decimated by paramilitary death squads. Up to 3,000 members of the UP were assassinated, driving the guerrillas back to armed struggle.

The issue of drugs promises to be equally problematic. The FARC control anything up to 70 percent of the country's coca crops, the raw material for cocaine. Many FARC fronts earn millions of dollars from the drug trade, often partnering up with paramilitary successor groups -- known as BACRIM (from the Spanish abbreviation for "criminal bands"). Any agreement with the government on this subject could have massive implications for the drug trade in Colombia.

SEE ALSO: FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

Furthermore, as InSight Crime has previously noted, dissident factions of the FARC may well criminalize and continue their illegal activities without the same ideological justifications, as happened to the AUC paramilitary organization following its official demobilization in 2006, when it gave birth to the BACRIM. It is perhaps inevitable that a new generation of criminal groups, the FARCRIM, may be born should a peace deal be signed.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

CHINA AND CRIME / 14 MAY 2021

When hundreds of skinned donkeys appeared on Colombia’s northern coast without explanation, locals, and later authorities, started asking questions.

COLOMBIA / 27 APR 2022

Before his arrest and extradition, Otoniel, both a former guerrilla fighter and ex-paramilitary, has an unparalleled reputation in the underworld.

COCAINE / 9 FEB 2021

Over the last five years, the cocaine trade has enjoyed an unprecedented boom, with production levels at record highs.

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…