While there is no doubt that the FARC have only a tenuous control over some of their more remote fronts, there is no evidence of any overt dissident faction within the movement at the moment.
When considering the possibilities that the FARC may break apart, the Ivan Rios Bloc is a helpful case study 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.
The 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.
While the demobilization of the M-19 rebel movement is perhaps the most famous guerrilla peace deal in Colombia's history, the Popular Liberation Army (Ejercito Popular de Liberacion – EPL), which demobilized in 1991, has been the largest insurgent force to make peace so far.
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, the enemies of the negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the process are high.
There are three possible scenarios for the fragmentation and/or criminalization of the FARC. 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.
Juarez has always been a volatile place. It is a border city that draws huge numbers of migrants seeking work, and engenders large discrepancies between its wealthiest and poorest residents -- all factors associated with violence.
There appears to have been a security miracle in Ciudad Juarez, once one of the world's most violent cities. But while some applaud the city’s police chief, Julian Leyzaola, others fret about his near-systematic violation of human rights.
Barrio Azteca, a prison gang born in the Texas jail system, is becoming a major player in the Mexican underworld and the "X-factor" in the battle for Ciudad Juarez, Mexican officials told InSight Crime.
For many crime watchers, the fighting in Juarez that cost nearly 10,000 people their lives over a four year stretch was a battle of the titans: the Juarez Cartel versus the Sinaloa Cartel. But beneath that analysis is the deeper question of who pushes the levers of power in Mexico.