Five years after Colombia’s peace deal, militias continue to cause havoc

five years after colombias peace deal militias continue to cause havoc

Sumary of Five years after Colombia’s peace deal, militias continue to cause havoc:

  • Nov 27th 2021BAJO CAUCATHERE ARE two ways to make a decent living in Bajo Cauca, the poorest region of Antioquia province, in northwest Colombia.
  • Countless rickety boats dredge the river bed in search of gold and dump mountains of sediment on its banks.
  • Both these shadow economies were brought to the region by groups that eventually formed the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC), an alliance of right-wing paramilitary groups founded in the early 1980s by cattle ranchers, drug lords and other members of the regional elite.
  • They fought Marxist guerrillas, most notably the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), often with the implicit backing of local army commanders.
  • The FARC, for its part, signed a peace deal with the government in 2016. Yet many parts of Colombia are still racked by conflict, fomented by successors to older armed groups and by new ones.
  • Around 14% of demobilised AUC combatants—some 5,000 people—have joined more than a dozen “neo-paramilitary” groups.
  • Another 5,200 fighters have joined the “dissidents”, armed groups founded by former FARC members who reject the peace deal.
  • The war involving the government, paramilitary groups and the FARC was the longest-running conflict in the western hemisphere.

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