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Colombia Is On The Precipice Of A Major Cocaine Civil War

Photo: REUTERS/Colombian Army Press Office/Handout via Reuters

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Colombia is about to spiral into a new era of cocaine-fueled civil war, according to the United Nations.

U.N. High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein told the 32nd regular session of the U.N. Human Rights Council Monday that, “The greatest threat to the dividends of peace in Colombia is the risk that violence and human rights violations will be generated by struggles for control of illicit coca growing and illegal mining, following demobilization.”

The Colombian government is currently wrapping up negotiations to end a 52-year civil war with Marxist guerrilla group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (known by the Spanish acronym FARC),

If the Colombian government and FARC successfully work out a peace deal, this will leave the Army of National Liberation (known by the Spanish acronym ELN) fighters and paramilitary group Los Urabeños (also known as Clan del Golfo) fighting for control of the country’s cocaine trade. Al Hussein went on to tell the U.N. Human Rights Council, “I urge the international community to invest with Colombia to transform these areas into productive economies that will improve the human rights situation and sustain peace.”

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the U.N.’s Refugee Agency, reported in May that 6,000 civilians have been displaced by different drug traffickers jockeying for power in Colombia. The main challenge for the Colombian military will be securing territory previously under FARC control, before the likes of the ELN or Los Urabeños swoop in to pick up where their former rivals left off, according to ColombiaReports.

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