Colombian officials have drafted a bill which will begin the process of demobilizing the country’s paramilitary groups, with some of the largest announcing their support for the initiative. The legislation which aims to limit the power of illegal armed groups is being considered by Justice Minister Enrique Gil, Post-Conflict Minister Oscar Naranjo, and Prosecutor General Nestor Humberto Martinez. [...] Any assets confiscated during that time would be redistributed to help the victims of violence. In exchange, paramilitaries could plea bargain for shorter sentences, take part in special prison rehabilitation services and start reintegrating into society. Telesur
It's a long list: dissident militias, paramilitary groups, drug traffickers, tensions in replacing coca crops, a deep institutional crisis, the struggle for power ... "The Pearl of the Pacific" continues to bleed, although the people want to believe in peace [...] The report of the Peace and Reconciliation Foundation states that the urban area of Tumaco remains, "one of the sad reflections of institutional and governmental neglect." Citizens of this area of the country live in "a context of basic needs pressing to be met", which added to the limited access to economic activities strengthens and encourages citizens's "recognition of the culture of illegality as normal, valid and even appreciated." Colombia Plural
Under the heading, 'Peace is Over', Colombia Report's Adriaan Alsema writes about renewed paramilitary activity in the area of Boyayá. "According to armed conflict website Pacifista, “the other groups” came Thursday in the form of the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC), the descendant of the AUC, the group that killed tens of thousands and displaced millions between 1997 and 2006 and only partially demobilized under former President Alvaro Uribe.
According to the report issued by the Union for Peace Initiative, there are 74 municipalities where FARC-EP were active have been taken by paramilitary-type organizations. The report also says that 90% of the agreement between the government and that guerrilla group benefits the Colombian population in general and that percentage has not been implemented. In that sense, former President and member of the organizations Ernesto Samper said that it is important to recognize that "FARC have fulfilled their promise in a totally admirable way." Contagio Radio
The greatest threat to Colombia’s peace deal doesn’t come from the Left, but from right-wing paramilitaries. Should the paramilitaries continue unchecked, they will destroy this chance at peace and unleash a wave of terror such as has not been seen in Colombia for many years. If the current government is serious about building a more inclusive, equal, and democratic Colombia it is vital that they address this problem quickly — or they will live to regret their mistake. Jacobin