Negotiators from the FARC and Colombian govt

President Juan Manuel Santos has asked the FARC to work with the state in combating drug trafficking as the guerrillas and the Colombian government reached their first agreement during peace talks in Havana.

The agreement, titled "Towards a new Colombian countryside: Integrated rural reform" ("Hacia un nuevo campo colombiano: Reforma rural integral") is based on the first of six peace talk agenda points - land reform -, and deals with issues of land access and rural social and economic development. As part of this, it will address the displaced and those who have had lands stolen during the conflict.

President Santos expressed satisfaction with this first step, and then raised the possibility of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) joining the fight against drug trafficking, asking them to clarify the role they would play if a final agreement were to be reached at the peace talks in Havana, Cuba.

The next round of talks, which have been underway since October 2012, will begin June 11, and will take up the second agenda point, the political participation of the rebel group.

InSight Crime Analysis

Illicit drugs are the fourth point on the the current peace talk agenda. Preventing FARC criminalization during the talks or after an agreement is reached is a major concern, and Santos' proposal to draw the FARC in to the fight against drug trafficking suggests one possible way to try and avoid this, although it would be difficult to implement.

Despite the fanfare surrounding agreement on the first point of the agenda, in reality this is just one small step towards peace. Both parties have decided that "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed", and with the far trickier issues of political participation, demobilization and disarmament remaining,  the present land reform agreement is, for now, more symbolic than concrete. 

However, it does represent a timely and much needed political boost for President Juan Manuel Santos. The president has staked his political reputation on talks and with the official announcement of his decision to run for reelection next year imminent, he desperately needed to show progress to an increasingly sceptical public.

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
Prev Next

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

The department of Nariño in southwest Colombia is the main coca-producing area in the country and in the world. It is a place scarred by poverty and years of armed conflict between guerrillas, the state and paramilitary groups. Perhaps nowhere else in the country are the challenges...

Closing the Gaps on Firearms Trafficking in Honduras

Closing the Gaps on Firearms Trafficking in Honduras

As set out in this report, the legal structure around Honduras' arms trade is deeply flawed. The legislation is inconsistent and unclear as to the roles of different institutions, while the regulatory system is insufficiently funded, anachronistic and administered by officials who are overworked or susceptible to...

Trafficking Firearms in Honduras

Trafficking Firearms in Honduras

The weapons trade within Honduras is difficult to monitor. This is largely because the military, the country's sole importer, and the Armory, the sole salesmen of weapons, do not release information to the public. The lack of transparency extends to private security companies, which do not have...

Trafficking Firearms Into Honduras

Trafficking Firearms Into Honduras

Honduras does not produce weapons,[1] but weapons are trafficked into the country in numerous ways. These vary depending on weapon availability in neighboring countries, demand in Honduras, government controls and other factors. They do not appear to obey a single strategic logic, other than that of evading...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

  The Bajo Cauca Franchise BACRIM-Land Armed Power Dynamics The BACRIM in places like the region of Bajo Cauca are a typical manifestation of Colombia's underworld today: a semi-autonomous local cell that is part of a powerful national network.

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

  Drugs Extortion Criminal Cash Flows Millions of dollars in dirty money circulate constantly around Bajo Cauca, flowing upwards and outwards from a broad range of criminal activities. The BACRIM are the chief regulators and beneficiaries of this shadow economy.

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

  Life of a Sicario Anatomy of a Hit   The BACRIM's control over territories such as the north Colombian region of Bajo Cauca comes at the point of a gun, and death is a constant price of their power.

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

When violence surged in early 2015 in Guatemala, then-President Otto Pérez Molina knew how to handle the situation: Blame the street gangs. 

Counting Firearms in Honduras

Counting Firearms in Honduras

Estimates vary widely as to how many legal and illegal weapons are circulating in Honduras. There are many reasons for this. The government does not have a centralized database that tracks arms seizures, purchases, sales and other matters concerning arms possession, availability and merchandising. The laws surrounding...