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15 Aug 04:20 AM UTC

Colombia: Demobilized FARC commander assassinated August 14

Demobilized FARC commander assassinated near Ituango demobilization camp August 14

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/21/2017, 5:27 AM until 9/21/2017, 5:27 AM (America/Bogota).

COUNTRY/REGION Ituango

Event

A FARC militia commander, identified by local reports as Jesus "Molina" Mazo, was assassinated on Monday, August 14, inside his home just outside the group's demobilization camp in Ituango, Antioquia province. No suspects have been identified. This is the second former FARC combatant assassinated in Ituango and while the group says Molina is the first commander to be assassinated, at least seven demobilized FARC members and ten family members have been assassinated since December 2016. The killings have raised fears of retributive violence as the FARC demobilization and reintegration process moves forward.

Context

A revised peace deal between the FARC and the Colombian government was ratified by the Colombian congress on November 30, 2016, after being signed on November 24, and submitted to the lower house by President Juan Manuel Santos on November 29. Despite vocal opposition, led primarily by former President Álvaro Uribe, the lower house ratified the pact a day after it was endorsed by the senate. The deal aims to end an armed conflict that has killed more than 260,000 people over five decades.

Members of the FARC officially surrendered their remaining weapons to the United Nations Mission in Colombia during a ceremony on June 27. The event took place in the town of Mesetas and was attended by President Santos. The completion of the disarmament process is seen as a major step in securing long-term peace. Demobilization camps will transition to training and reintegration camps to facilitate members' return to civil society.

Advice

Individuals in Colombia are advised to monitor the situation and avoid any protests (e.g., demonstrations related to the FARC demobilization process).

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).