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Market Report, "Colombia Defence & Security Report Q1 2013", Published

Fast Market Research recommends "Colombia Defence & Security Report Q1 2013" from Business Monitor International, now available


Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/13/2013 -- Colombia's government continues to wage its campaign against insurgent organisations and criminal gangs involved in narcotics production and trafficking. The employment of the country's armed forces against these threats has yielded some successes, although it appears that the government is still a long way from defeating Marxist-inspired guerrilla groups such as Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC). This organisation has used a combination of attacks on Colombia's law enforcement organisations and the civilian population, along with kidnappings, extortion and drug trafficking to raise revenue.

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Throughout the fourth quarter of 2012, the Colombian armed forces have enjoyed some significant successes against FARC, hitting a training camp, although the group has continued to be able to perform attacks against the security forces. One potentially promising announcement from FARC concerns the group's decision to abandon kidnapping and to release law enforcement hostages that it may be holding. This prompted a supportive, albeit very cautious, reaction from the government.

Whether FARC and the government will soon embark on peace talks remains to be seen. The guerrilla organisation has at times hinted that it would be prepared to return to the negotiating table during 2011, and during the first quarter of 2012. However, the government has outlined a series of preconditions that it insists the FARC must accept before it will enter negotiations. Moreover, there are concerns that FARC's tactics may simply be a ruse to push the government into negotiations, and to suspend military operations while the group reconstitutes itself in the wake of increasingly successful attacks against the organisation by the Colombian law enforcement organisations.

FARC's attacks are also having a negative effect on Colombia's critical national infrastructure. Armed actions against oil installations risk having a detrimental effect on crude oil production. This could derail the government's goal of increasing production to over 1.5mn barrels a day by 2015. In addition, FARC has attacked power stations, disrupting life in some of Colombia's conurbations. Economic activity has been recently disrupted by one of Colombia's criminal gangs, which ordered a general strike in one of Colombia's northern cities in retaliation for the death of its leader during a gunfight with police.

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