The annual “Country Reports on Terrorism 2013” shows that attacks by illegal groups declined by 7%, along with a decrease in the overall kidnappings, and an increase of attacks on infrastructure in the country.
According to the report, the country experienced an overall decrease in terrorist activity in 2013, and adds that Colombian government statistics show a 7% decrease in attacks from a total of 894 in 2012 down to 830 in 2013.
“In 2013, even with an increase of attacks on infrastructure, Colombia experienced a year of overall decreased terrorist activity, thanks in part to significant successes in its military campaign against Colombia’s largest terrorist organization, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC),” the reported read.
The FARC are currently holding peace talks with the Colombian government and delegates have recently reiterated the need for a truth commission for victims in the 50-year armed conflict, in which state responsibility is also clarified.
The number of members of illegal armed groups, including the FARC and ELN — the second largest rebel group — fell by 23% from 439 to 340.
“The total number of insurgents who demobilized in the same period rose by 18% from 1,140 in 2012 to 1,350 in 2013,” the report added.
High Impact Attacks
Throughout 2013 the most common attacks by the FARC were “Low-cost, high impact attacks” — such as launching mortars at police stations, roadside bombs, roadblocks and ambushes.
“Terrorist attacks on infrastructure – particularly on oil pipelines and equipment – primarily by the FARC and the ELN, increased by 46% in 2013 compared to 2012,” the report read.
Although attacks in 2013 were reported throughout the country, most occurred in areas along the Venezuelan border in the states of “Arauca, Norte de Santander, and La Guajira, and in the southwestern departments [states] of Nariño and Cauca, and in the northwestern department of Antioquia.”
According to the report, kidnappings have also decreased 79% since 2004 but remain a threat in some rural areas, which tend to have a higher presence of illegal groups.
- Chapter 2. Country Reports: Western Hemisphere Overview (US Department of State)