To no one’s surprise, the peace deal with the former FARC is rapidly falling apart, as many of them are returning to crime and violence.
Can they really be called “dissident” FARC members if a full-third of them have returned to crime?
Roughly a third of the fighters in Colombia’s former FARC rebel army have taken up arms again following a 2016 peace accord, posing a growing security risk in the Andean nation, according to a confidential military intelligence report reviewed by Reuters.
The report said there were 31 dissident FARC groups operating in regions that grow coca – the raw material for cocaine – and in areas of illegal gold mining. Colombia is the world’s largest producer of cocaine. The estimate of dissident fighters showed a roughly 30% increase from the previous official tally in December.
“If you look at where these organized armed groups are or where they’ve appeared, it’s associated with crime: where there’s a high presence of drug trafficking or illegal mining, or in border areas, especially near Venezuela,” General Luis Fernando Navarro, commander of Colombia’s military forces, told Reuters on Tuesday.
The military document also showed the number of fighters in the leftist rebel National Liberation Army (ELN) has increased by nearly 8% to 2,400 since the end of last year.
Now, the military intelligence report says, 45% of the ELN’s fighters – including its commanders – are hiding in neighboring Venezuela and receiving protection from Venezuela’s left-leaning President Nicolas Maduro.
The problem with failed states like Venezuela is the chaos never stays conveniently inside their borders. Instead, they start exporting their problems to other countries.