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FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

 

Once again the possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is being dangled before Colombia. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, for themselves and especially for their children, the enemies of the peace negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the peace process are high.

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Could the FARC fragment?

farc1As soon as he took office in August 2010, President Juan Manuel Santos began to explore the possibility of peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Formal negotiations began in October 2012, in the Norwegian capital of Oslo. These talks are continuing, once again in Havana, Cuba. According to the two negotiating teams, progress is being made.

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Possible Scenarios for FARC Fragmentation or Criminalization

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Three possible scenarios for the fragmentation and/or criminalization of the FARC are studied in this paper. The first could occur during peace talks, the second once an agreement is reached, and the last once the group has demobilized and elements of the rebels stay in, or return to, the field, continuing with the same illicit activities in which the FARC currently engage.

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The EPL and "Megateo"; the Future of the FARC?

MegateoWhile the demobilization of the M-19 rebel movement is perhaps the most famous guerrilla peace deal in Colombia's history, the Popular Liberation Army (Ejército Popular de Liberación – EPL), which demobilized in 1991, has been the largest insurgent force to make peace so far.

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Criminal Activities of the FARC and Rebel Earnings

farc5The FARC engage in criminal activities to fund their struggle to overthrow the state. There is very little difference between the way they and the BACRIM raise money. The only difference is where the money goes: to fund a cause or for personal enrichment.

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Study: Ivan Rios Bloc, the Most Vulnerable

farc6The Ivan Rios Bloc has been chosen as the case study for this paper because it is perhaps the weakest of the FARC's divisions in terms of command and control, and therefore runs the highest risk of fragmentation and criminalization.

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