FARC resurgence in Colombia threatens peace
September 19, 2018 | Brainwave Science
The peace accords signed in 2016 by then-President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, and the rebels were meant to bring an end to five decades of fighting that left at least 220,000 dead and nearly 6 million people displaced from their homes. Among the greatest concerns at that time in not so past history of Colombia was the fear that there could be a rise in crime as fighters demobilize, with some of them likely to be recruited by drug gangs. Another concern was that many of the thousands of fighters granted amnesty under the pact might sour on civilian life and pick up arms again. The fears have come true and this is actually happening now in Colombia.
Guerrilla group like ELN and drug-traffickers with paramilitary origin have been fighting for three months to take over a former domain of the FARC. A few years ago, the future of the peace deal seemed bright. President Juan Manuel Santos struck the deal in August 2016, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Thousands of members of FARC turned in their arms to the United Nations and were accepted in the civilian society as civilians.
As the government was struggling to implement key parts of the deal, various former FARC returned to the forests with the intention to join deal-rejecting dissidents, the ELN or forming their own FARC. The ELN, now Colombia’s largest guerrilla outfit and a smaller leftist force known as EPL- the popular Liberation Army- have clashed for control of smuggling routes in the region while recruiting former FARC members.
One of the commanders, a 25-year-old and goes by the alias Maicol told the New York Times reporter in a discreet meeting at an unknown place that although assured by the peace deal, paramilitaries were shooting former FARC members. At least 75 former guerrillas have been killed after the peace deal. The dissident groups and new formed FARC work together for mutual protection.
Among the former FARC leaders now unaccounted for is Ivan Marquez, FARC’s second-in-command, who went missing more than a month ago, leaving many fearing he will rearm. According to Jeremy McDermott, the co-director of Insight Crime, If Ivan Marquez leaves the peace process and joins the dissidents, then the entire process could fail. He estimates that as many as 10 other commanders have rejoined the dissidents. The rebels are also seeking former FARC members who have returned to arms including commander like Walter Patricio Arizala alias Guacho, who controls the cocaine trade on the border of Ecuador and this year kidnapped and killed three journalists.
As a result of not identifying the threat from former FARC members, critics say, violence has started to spike again. According to Humberto de la Calle, one of the architects of the peace deal maker,” We’re throwing away peace.” There can be no peace in the nation if the rebels rearm. Guillermo Botero, Colombia’s defence minister said the dissident FARC have spread far more than it has said what and are in the process of recruiting and growing.
An important question arises for the Colombian government is that if the former FARC members join the dissident groups including new formed FARC, the whole peace deal would be destroyed. The United States officials have warned repeatedly that former guerrillas have not left the drug business and continue to have an involvement in the American Market.
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The primary challenge for Colombian law enforcement to protect the nation from falling apart again is to distinguish dissidents, gather accurate intelligence about the existing guerrillas’ group, identification of former FARC recruiter, masterminds of the groups and other vital information important to maintain peace and eradicate illegal arms groups. To ensure the safety of the nation and restoring the faith in peace deal, the only reasonable way is through employment of Brainwave Science’s iCognative. This sure shot iCognative technology guarantees a high success rate and results and has a proven track record of supporting government agencies, protect innocent and capture and identify the threat posed by dissident guerrillas.