Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos spoke on June 23rd in Paris that the Colombian guerrilla groups of FARC had come to a closure nationwide, despite doubt in Colombia in areas where they’d fully taken root, replacing the state.
He stated that he’d finally disarmed the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC) and said that “the most powerful” as a nationwide group, and the oldest guerrilla group, ”ceases to exist.”
They said that the guerrillas gave up almost 60 percent of their armaments and that it’d be completed by June 27th.
The disarmament process was delayed as the guerillas had to leave 26 concentration zones altogether, dotted across the country. Also, Colombian domestic politics interfered in a referendum in which most people voted against the peace deal with FARC.
FARC announced that the peace process was in “crisis,” after the constitutional courts disallowed Santos to make some key decisions over the process.
It is difficult to ascertain whether June will be the date for the complete disarmament of FARC, as they’re still evident especially in the coca-producing areas of Colombia.
In Nariño and Putumayo, there is the strong suspicion that the guerrillas still own largely hidden caches of arms. The government, together with the United Nations, have confirmed about 800 hiding places, though much more surely exist. It is vital to have adequate intelligence to achieve this knowledge, Security Consultancy Colombia can aid in similar efforts.
The burning question, though, concerns the country’s largest coca-growing zones which have been under FARC control. We can’t yet tell the extent of the FARC guerrilla links with the drug trade in these zones.
In summary, while it seems far too early to declare the peace process with FARC successful and their subsequent disarmament as complete, but it does seem that eventually it will be fulfilled.