On Thursday, August 29, two former commanders of the demobilized Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) dissident group declared the start of a new offensive in the decades-long conflict with the Colombian government. The announcement comes three years after a peace deal was reached to end South America's longest guerrilla conflict. The commanders accuse the government of failing to comply with the promises of the accord. Rodrigo Londoño, former supreme leader of FARC, has rejected the announcement and reaffirmed his commitment to the peace process.
An increase in ex-FARC dissident activity is possible in the near- to medium-term as the situation develops, especially in central and southwestern Colombia. Associated upticks in security operations are also possible.
A peace deal between FARC leadership and the Colombian government was ratified by the Colombian congress in November 2016, officially ending an armed conflict that killed more than 260,000 people over five decades. However, some dissident ex-FARC militants remain active, notably in the Colombian-Ecuadorian border region.
Individuals in or planning travel to Colombia are advised to keep abreast of the situation. Due to the presence of a number of armed groups - including drug cartels, right-wing militias, local gangs, and the ELN guerrilla group in addition to ex-FARC dissidents - Western governments generally advise against travel to various regions of the country, most notably most border areas on the frontiers with Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Venezuela, and Panama.
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