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

COLOMBIA / 5 OCT 2012

Colombia's Coast Guard has said that paramilitary successor groups, known as BACRIMs, may be getting increasingly involved in timber trafficking…

COLOMBIA / 8 NOV 2017

Warnings that Colombia's bilateral ceasefire with the ELN guerrilla group could crumble because of violence in a criminal hotbed could…

COLOMBIA / 2 AUG 2013

The leader of the sole remaining faction of the demobilized EPL guerrilla army is a top target of Colombian and…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…