A recent study provides chilling evidence that Colombia may be entering into a new era of paramilitary violence.
The study, produced by the Fundacion Ideas para la Paz (FIP), claims that the government’s efforts to disarm, demobilize, and arrest former paramilitaries failed to tackle the root cause of the problem; organized narco-trafficking and crime syndicates.
These groups are the root cause that fuels the paramilitaries’ activities in the first place, the FIP goes on to explain.
According to verdadabierta.com, a website about paramilitary violence, the study shows that in 2009, 27 of Colombia’s 32 departments suffered the effects of these illegally armed groups. The two departments worst affected were Antioquia and Nariño.
FIP goes on to argue that although the number of groups has declined in recent years, their impact on Colombian society has not. Like their predecessors, the new generation of paramilitary groups pose a direct threat to the stability of the state and its institutions around the country. Fueled by the drug trade, the risk of governmental corruption remains high, the study went on to conclude.
To combat the potential rise of paramilitary threats, FIP suggests that the government look to the past and review its policy of dismantling the AUC, formerly Colombia’s largest paramilitary group, who laid down its arms following the 2003 Justice and Peace Law.