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Framing the issue

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Terrorism risks in Colombia

Notwithstanding the potential for a positive outcome to peace talks between the Colombian government and the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), terrorism risks remain substantial in some areas of Colombia. This map, covering terrorist events between 2009 and 2012, shows how risks have become concentrated in three areas of the country, in line with the areas of operation of the FARC and fellow guerrillas the National Liberation Army (ELN).

Firstly, the region surrounding the major city of Cali is a zone of key strategic importance for the FARC, which uses it to control local coca production and drugs and weapons flows across the Ecuadorian border. Secondly, the department of Antioquia remains a high-risk area, with both the FARC and ELN retaining operational capabilities. Thirdly, the Colombia-Venezuela border adjacent to the Colombian departments of Arauca and Norte de Santander remains an important source of refuge for guerrillas from both the FARC and the ELN and constitutes one of the most important corridors for the trafficking of cocaine into Venezuela. In addition, the map also shows how terrorism risks cluster along particular transport arteries – for example the road leading south-east from Bogotá through the department of Meta to the town of San José del Guaviare.

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