A UN-led mission to retrieve an ex-FARC weapons cache was attacked by unknown assailants on Sunday, August 6. The attack, in which one policeman was left injured before the assailants were repelled, was located in Caloto, (Cauca department) in Colombia’s southwest. National police blamed the National Liberation Army (ELN) for the attack; the ELN has denied responsibility.
A revised peace deal between the FARC and the Colombian government was ratified by the Colombian congress in late November 2016. Despite vocal opposition, led primarily by former President Álvaro Uribe, the lower house and the senate both endorsed the deal, which aims to end an armed conflict that has killed more than 260,000 people over five decades. Members of the FARC officially surrendered their weapons to the UN mission in Colombia during a ceremony on June 27, but many weapons remain stored in hard-to-reach areas. The disarmament process is seen as a major step in securing long-term peace. Following the peace deal, the ELN remains Colombia’s last-standing guerrilla group.
Due to the presence of various armed groups, including narcotrafficking, organized crime, and 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).