By: The Pares Editorial Team
Translated by: Rebecca Oswalt.
From the article «Cifras y datos de la nueva guerrilla»
On the morning of august 29th, a video emerged of former peace negotiator for the extinct FARC guerrilla, Iván Márquez, announcing the establishment of a new guerrilla. Alongside with other important former leaders of the FARC such as Romaña, El Paisa, Aldinever and Loco Iván, he declared, that they would retake their weapons due to non-compliance by the State in the implementation of the Peace Agreement signed between the FARC guerrilla and the Colombian State in 2016.
When the Farc laid down their arms, they were operating in 300 municipalities throughout Colombia. Today, there are 23 groups of dissenters in 85 municipalities. These groups are composed of roughly 1,800 guerrillas and between 300-400 new recruits. Thus, in the best case scenario, the current dissenters account for only 25% of the capability of what the FARC was prior to the peace accord. This conflict can still be controlled, although it has been growing. These statements are made by the Peace and Reconciliation Foundation. They are the product of months of research and analysis of the data and figures included in the report «More lights than shadows. Security in Colombia one year after the government of Iván Duque »
Previously, there had been two separate groups of dissenters, one armed group led by Gentil Duarte [who rejected the peace accord before it was signed] and another politically focused group headed up by Iván Márquez. All the evidence seems to indicate that these two groups have joined. Due to a lack of guidance, the numbers involved in these groups had not been increasing; however, under these leaders, they will see significant growth.
These groups of dissenters will now start to recruit older ex-combatants. This means that in order to prevent this issue from expanding, President Iván Duque must protect the Territorial Training and Reintegration Spaces -ETCR [communities where former FARC combatants live] and guarantee ex-combatants reintegration into society.
More than 10,000 ex-guerrillas out of the 13,000 who laid down their weapons are in the process of reintegration. Márquez’s announcement could cause a great disruption to these efforts. As such, it is absolutely necessary that the government protects the spaces where ex-combatants are staying, guarantee them dignified reintegration conditions, and avoid the numbers of dissenters from growing rapidly.
The latter will depend on the operability of the Armed Forces. If there is sufficient functionality and force, the situation can be controlled, but if not, we will once again have a long and painful armed conflict in the country.