Colombia's government continues to wage its campaign against insurgent organisations and criminal gangs involved in narcotics production and trafficking. The employment of the country's armed forces against these threats has yielded some successes, although it appears that the state is still a long way from defeating Marxist-inspired guerrilla groups such as Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC). This organisation has used a combination of attacks on Colombia's law-enforcement organisations and the civilian population, along with kidnappings, extortion and drug trafficking to raise revenue.
FARC's attacks are also having a negative effect on Colombia's critical national infrastructure. Armed actions against oil installations risk having a detrimental effect on crude oil production. This could derail the government's goal of increasing production to over 1.5mn barrels a day by 2015. In addition, FARC has attacked power stations, disrupting life in some of Colombia's conurbations. Economic activity was disrupted by one of Colombia's criminal gangs in 2012, which ordered a general strike in one of the northern cities in retaliation for the death of its leader during a gunfight with police.
Government efforts to destroy the FARC are yielding small successes, although it seems unlikely that the guerrilla group will be defeated in the short term, if it is ever eradicated at all. This situation is much the same for the narcotic criminal gangs, which operate throughout much of the country, and which may also be connected to several of Colombia's guerrilla organisations. In some ways, cocaine production is even harder to combat than FARC as high global demand for the drug continues unabated throughout much of the West and the wider world.
During the last quarter, BMI has made the following updates to the Colombia Defence & Security Report for Q2 2013:
- The latest details regarding the conduct of Colombia's civil war and peace negotiations involving the government and FARC guerrillas in Cuba which commenced in November 2012.
- News regarding recent procurement efforts across the Colombian army, air force and navy.