HomeNewsColombia Restarts Peace Talks With Ex-FARC Mafia, but Violence Persists

Colombia Restarts Peace Talks With Ex-FARC Mafia, but Violence Persists


The Colombian government and a leading faction of the ex-FARC mafia have begun a new round of negotiations, in what appears to be a step forward for President Gustavo Petro’s "Total Peace" policy. But in reality, the talks may produce few changes. 

On September 4, the government and the Central General Staff (Estado Mayor Central - EMC) announced the results of three days of meetings held between August 31 and September 2. The EMC is the largest of the dissident groups, known as the ex-FARC mafia, which emerged after the demobilization of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - FARC),

The two sides agreed to renew peace talks, implement a bilateral ceasefire, and organize humanitarian missions in the departments of Antioquia, Arauca, Cauca, Huila, Nariño, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, and southern Bolívar. The start date for the ceasefire will be determined on September 17 and will bring an end to these confrontations. 

The talks came at a difficult time as there have been five clashes between security forces and the EMC in the last month alone.

"This is a new stage of talks with the Central General Staff, characterized by starting negotiations and defining a high-level agenda for reaching a peace agreement," said Camilo González Posso, the head of the government delegation, in an interview with Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.

SEE ALSO: Colombia's Total Peace 1-Year-On: Less State Violence, Stronger Criminal Groups

This is the government’s second attempt to establish a ceasefire with the EMC. The first was scheduled to last from January 1 to June 30, but the government suspended the ceasefire in May after four young Indigenous men were recruited and killed by the Carolina Ramírez Front in Putumayo. 

Days before the latest meetings the Jaime Martínez Front, a group belonging to the EMC, claimed responsibility for an ambush in Morales, Cauca that left three police officers dead and one wounded. In the same department, more than 700 people have been affected by EMC actions -- such as attacks on the civilian population, harassment of security forces, and clashes -- in the last month, according to figures from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs (OCHA).

InSight Crime Analysis

While a ceasefire with the EMC would be a major development for Total Peace, these latest steps will likely have limited impact on violence levels. 

The government's negotiated agreements demand an end to conflict between security forces and armed groups. They do not demand any reduction in violence between criminal groups, with civilians continuously caught in the crossfire. 

SEE ALSO: Humanitarian Aid Blocked by Armed Groups in Colombia

According to OCHA, most humanitarian emergencies and human rights violations in 2023 have been the result of clashes between armed groups. Since a previous ceasefire with the National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional - ELN) began on August 3, OCHA has reported at least 148 attacks against civilians and hundreds of people displaced in the departments of Arauca, Cauca, and Nariño due to such violence.

And the one security gain from the ceasefires is also in doubt. During the same period, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) recorded at least 14 clashes between armed groups and security forces. Eight involved the ex-FARC mafia, four were with the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia - AGC), one with the ELN, and one with an unidentified group.

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.


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.


Related Content


As the Monos fragment, Argentina is trying new strategies to reduce the violence in Rosario.

COLOMBIA / 12 MAY 2022

The assassination of a crusading Paraguayan prosecutor while on honeymoon in Colombia has caused widespread alarm about the rising levels…

COCAINE / 18 AUG 2023

The sentencing of notorious Colombian drug trafficker Chupeta marks the end of a lucrative and bloody career.

About InSight Crime


InSight Crime Contributes Expertise Across the Board 

22 SEP 2023

This week InSight Crime investigators Sara García and María Fernanda Ramírez led a discussion of the challenges posed by Colombian President Gustavo Petro’s “Total Peace” plan within urban contexts. The…


InSight Crime Cited in New Colombia Drug Policy Plan

15 SEP 2023

InSight Crime’s work on emerging coca cultivation in Honduras, Guatemala, and Venezuela was cited in the Colombian government’s…


InSight Crime Discusses Honduran Women's Prison Investigation

8 SEP 2023

Investigators Victoria Dittmar and María Fernanda Ramírez discussed InSight Crime’s recent investigation of a massacre in Honduras’ only women’s prison in a Twitter Spaces event on…


Human Trafficking Investigation Published in Leading Mexican Newspaper

1 SEP 2023

Leading Mexican media outlet El Universal featured our most recent investigation, “The Geography of Human Trafficking on the US-Mexico Border,” on the front page of its August 30…


InSight Crime's Coverage of Ecuador Leads International Debate

25 AUG 2023

This week, Jeremy McDermott, co-director of InSight Crime, was interviewed by La Sexta, a Spanish television channel, about the situation of extreme violence and insecurity in Ecuador…