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 / 14 NOV 2016

Forty days after Colombia rejected a peace agreement between the government and FARC rebels, a second deal has been signed…

COLOMBIA / 19 SEP 2011

Colombia's scandal-ridden intelligence service, the DAS, is alleged to have passed on high value information to one of the…

COLOMBIA / 26 MAY 2014

Colombia's new president will be elected in a second round run-off that is shaping up to be a war or…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…

THE ORGANIZATION

Backing Investigative Journalism Around the Globe

5 NOV 2021

InSight Crime was a proud supporter of this year's Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which took place November 1 through November 5 and convened nearly 2,000 journalists…

THE ORGANIZATION

Tracking Dirty Money and Tren de Aragua

29 OCT 2021

InSight Crime was delighted to support investigative reporting in the Americas through a workshop with our friends at Connectas, a non-profit journalism initiative that facilitates collaboration…