New Defense research report from Business Monitor International is now available from Fast Market Research
[ClickPress, Fri Feb 14 2014] The most significant development regarding Colombia's defence and security situation during Q114 has been the ongoing peace talks between the government of President Juan Manuel Santos, and the left-wing FARC-EP guerrilla movement. However, violence has continued in the background, with a December 2013 attack by the government on a FARC position in central Colombia killing 10 rebels, including a senior commander.
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. For its part FARC has put forward proposals for 'regulated' production and cultivation of certain illegal narcotics, fuelling speculation that it is at least partly involved in drugs trafficking.
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The issue of drugs continues to elevate Colombia's status as a pivotal strategic location in the Americas. It has recently entered into a join task force with Panama on its northern border, and continues to enjoy a strong defence relationship with the US, which is concerned by criminality and terrorism connected to the drugs trade.
Outstanding issues in 2014 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, President Santos is heading into a presidential election campaign against hawkish opposition which would likely end the on-off peace talks with FARC. However, BMI is expecting Santos to retain his position, although it may not be a first-round victory.
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