Colombia Defence & Security Report Q1 2014
Published by Business Monitor International
on Nov 6, 2013
, 67 pages
PDF - Download Now with 3 Quarterly Updates format - Download Now
The most significant development regarding Colombia's defence and security situation during Q413 has been the continuation of peace talks in Cuba between the government of President Juan Manuel Santos, and the left-wing FARC-EP guerrilla movement. Reports in late-October 2013 stated that peace negotiations between the FARC-EP and the government were making progress, with President Santos saying that the two sides were the closest that they have ever been to reaching a deal. Topics under current discussion are said to include: the FARC-EP's future participation in the democratic process; the issue of compensation being paid to the movement's victims; and any judicial proceedings which could be mounted against the FARC-EP's membership.
In July 2013, the Colombian judiciary ruled that the UP (Patriotic Union), FARC-EP's political wing, could be re-instated as a legal political party, following the banning of the movement in the 1980s. For the time being, President Santos is optimistic that a peace deal could be concluded by January 2014. Nevertheless, outstanding issues include the procedure for drafting a new Colombian constitution and future judicial proceedings against security force personnel for past human rights abuses.
At the domestic level, since August 2013 Colombia has seen massed protests, unrest and rioting by various groups opposing government policies. President Santos' immediate response has been to reshuffle his cabinet, replacing the country's mining, agriculture, interior, justice, energy and environment ministers, and has granted some concessions to the protestors. In addition, President Santos is having to address concerns regarding the perceived slow pace of the government's peace negotiations with FARC-EP, something which could be key to his re-election strategy should he choose to stand for office again.