An attack was carried out against security forces in Guaviare department on Monday, June 3. Militants detonated a low-powered explosive on a road in the municipality of Calamar, injuring three police officers. The attack has been attributed to dissident FARC militants, ostensibly unhappy with the peace deal signed between the FARC guerrilla group (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the Colombian government in late 2016.
A handful of other attacks carried out by FARC dissidents have been reported in the department in recent months, including an April 10 IED attack against soldiers in El Retorno (one killed) and a May 3 kidnapping in Barranquillita (Miraflores municipality).
The peace deal between the FARC and the Colombian government was ratified by the Colombian congress on November 30, 2016. The deal aims to end an armed conflict that has killed more than 260,000 people over five decades. The FARC successfully completely the hand-over of their weapons in late June 2017; however, a large number of weapons caches remain intact and clearing them is expected to take time, given that many are located in remote, hard-to-reach jungle areas.
It should be noted that despite the historic demobilization of the FARC guerrilla group, numerous other armed groups remain active in the country. Paramilitary crime organizations (BACRIM) have replaced leftist guerrillas as the most serious armed threat; these groups are involved in a variety of illicit activities, including drug-trafficking, smuggling, illegal mining, extortion, and assassinations. BACRIM groups - such as the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC), a.k.a. Los Urabeños - have begun expanding into territories vacated by the FARC (including the port city of Tumaco), leading to a rise in violence, including assassinations of local landowners and community leaders. The government has pledged to increase the presence of security forces in these areas, but the deployment has been slow.
Due to the presence of various armed groups, including narcotrafficking, organized crime, in addition to left-wing guerrilla groups, many Western governments advise against travel to various regions of the country ‒ particularly rural zones ‒ with the notable exceptions of the northern Caribbean regions and central areas (including Bogotá).
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