Some 2,500 of the 31,000 paramilitaries that demobilized in 2006 and
2007 have rearmed, the director of the National Commission of Reparation
and Reconsiliation (CNRR) said Tuesday.
However, the fact that former members of an illegal armed force return to arms is not an exceptional phenomenon and that the Colombian eight percent re-armament rate in fact is “below average.”
According to CNRR director Eduardo Pizarro, demobilized members of armed groups in other conflicts shows a re-armament rate in between 5 and 15 percent. “This is a global phenomenon that Colombia could not escape.”
Added to the demobilization of the approximately 31,000 right wing paramilitaries, some 17,000 leftist guerrillas demobilized in the past six years, Pizarro said. The return to criminal gangs of a number of these demobilized should not be considered failure of the peace process, he says.