HomeNewsBriefLimited Ceasefire Violations Suggest FARC Command Still in Control
BRIEF

Limited Ceasefire Violations Suggest FARC Command Still in Control

COLOMBIA / 30 MAY 2014 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

The lack of major violations to the unilateral ceasefire declared by the FARC for Colombia's election season indicates the central command retains broad control over field units, but the unruly 36th Front remains a serious concern.

According to conflict monitoring group the Center of Resources for Conflict Analysis (CERAC), there were four violations of the ceasefire jointly called by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN) for the period May 20 to 28. The FARC were responsible for all four, but none of the violations resulted in deaths or injuries.

The first violation came a day after the start of the ceasefire, when the FARC's 36th Front planted explosives -- which the army disabled -- at an electrical tower in a rural zone of the Antioquia department.

According to CERAC, the general observation of the ceasefire "reveals a greater level of command and control in the interior of the armed group. This reveals a genuine consolidation of the FARC as an organization."

Overall so far in 2014, attacks launched by the FARC have dropped 57.8 percent compared to the same period in 2013, according to monitoring group the Peace and Reconciliation Foundation.

The levels of attacks are closely connected to the peace talks in Havana, which have led the FARC to become more preoccupied with the public relations impact of their actions, Peace and Reconciliation's coordinator Ariel Avila told El Espectador

"They have learned to adjust the rhythm of the conflict to the rhythm of the peace talks," he said, increasing attacks when talks stall and reducing actions when progress is made.

InSight Crime Analysis

The election ceasefire represented the third time the FARC had declared a unilateral pause in hostilities since peace talks began in 2012. Each of these ceasefires has seen limited violations, with this latest arguably the most successful at halting actions, although also the shortest.

This is a positive sign for peace talks, as it suggests the FARC retain control over field units -- control which will be critical when it comes to enforcing any agreement struck between guerrilla leaders and the government.

SEE ALSO: 50 Years of the FARC: War, Drugs and Revolution

However, the 36th Front remains a concern. The front has been the main violator of each of the previous ceasefires, and the fact it continues to follow this trend increases the likelihood this is a deliberate message rather than a breakdown in communication.

As InSight Crime has noted previously, the 36th Front is a prime candidate to break away rather than demobilize in the case of a peace deal. It is wealthy, heavily involved in criminal activities, and led by a commander who has clashed with the FARC hierarchy.

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 / 15 JAN 2019

Tourism agencies and taxi cooperatives are the newest fronts being used to hide migrants smuggling at the border between Venezuela…

ARGENTINA / 1 OCT 2020

From mostly being a lower-level criminal annoyance, oil theft has spread across Latin America during the coronavirus pandemic as a…

COLOMBIA / 28 MAR 2012

Colombia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said they were willing to share strategies with Africa for fighting organized crime, as the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

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…