HomeNewsBrief‘Colombia to Expand Armed Forces by 25,000 Troops’
BRIEF

'Colombia to Expand Armed Forces by 25,000 Troops'

COLOMBIA / 1 NOV 2012 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

Colombia's defense minister announced plans to increase the size of the armed forces by 25,000 troops over the next two years, raising the question of why the expansion is being planned when the government is in the middle of a peace process with guerrilla group the FARC.

Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said that the possibility that the armed forces might be downsized in light of a successful peace treaty with the FARC has "never been discussed." He made the remarks in Bogota during a three-day trade show on defense and security matters, reports EFE

The government launched formal peace talks with the FARC in Oslo, Norway in October and they are due to resume in Cuba on November 15.

Colombia's armed forces currently number over 450,000 personel, including military and police, the second-largest in South America after Brazil. It also has some of the highest military expenditures in the region, spending some $100 billion on defense between 2002 and 2010.

InSight Crime Analysis

Pinzon's pledge to continue expanding Colombia's armed forces could be one implication that the government expects to continue fighting a drawn-out, aggressive war on the ground for years to come. One risk is that even if the government comes to a formal agreement with the FARC, the guerrilla group may no longer have the ability to control all the elements within their organization. This could mean that even if the FARC formally demobilizes, splinter groups could continue fighting and trafficking drugs in Colombia's more remote regions, as happened with the demobilization of the AUC. By continuing to expand the armed forces, the government is arguably preparing for such a scenario.

In another indication that Colombia is keen on expanding its defense capabilities, the country recently announced that it is now capable of producing its own drones. The unmanned aerial vehicles will reportedly be used for military operations and for monitoring attacks on oil pipelines, a trademark of guerrilla groups. Such efforts are indication that even with the ongoing peace talks with the FARC, the Colombian government still intends to rely on military power and technology as a core part of its security strategy. 

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.

Tags

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

COCA / 13 JUN 2017

Officials believe a coca plantation recently discovered in Honduras was set up by Colombians, suggesting a criminal migration that could…

COCAINE / 26 MAR 2021

Authorities in Europe -- already overwhelmed by a flood of cocaine arriving in cargo ships -- now must face another…

COLOMBIA / 2 JUN 2014

Authorities in Colombia have captured 46 members of a Rastrojos cell and a top leader, indicating that in spite of…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…

THE ORGANIZATION

Exploring Climate Change and Organized Crime

10 SEP 2021

In July, InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley moderated a panel for the Climate Reality Project's regional series of workshops for young climate activists in the Americas. The week-long event…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gearing Up a New Class of Interns

3 SEP 2021

InSight Crime is readying its newest class of interns – from universities in Europe and the Americas – to begin investigative work on a number of high-impact projects. For the…

THE ORGANIZATION

Tracking Environmental Crime in the Amazon

27 AUG 2021

Next week, InSight Crime launches an investigation – conducted with Brazilian think-tank the Igarapé Institute – on the sophisticated organized crime structures and armed groups that…