Colombia's Security Outlook

Colombia's army is coping with a change in strategy by FARC, hit-and-run attacks rather than direct military confrontation. (Photo: Colombia's Army)

President Juan Manuel Santos (left with cap) and Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon. (Photo: Colombia's Defense Ministry)

Why is Colombia’s security getting worse and what’s the outlook the next 12 months?


Sunday’s attack against the Transandina pipeline in Colombia, which forced the state oil giant Ecopetrol to suspend production, was likely done by the country’s FARC insurgents and followed several other similar attacks in recent days. FARC is also blamed for several
attacks on energy infrastructure targets in south-west Colombia, including electricity installations near Tumaco last week that led to give deaths.

“The operational tempo of FARC attacks on energy infrastructure has increased significantly in recent weeks and this incident indicates that the insurgents intend to maintain this trend at least in the short term,” said IHS Global Insight analyst Grant Hurst in a comment to clients. “Improving security around energy infrastructure is emerging as a major challenge for the authorities whose additional troop deployments … have so far proved unsuccessful in containing the threat.”

The attacks appear to be the latest signs of deterioration in Colombia’s security after years of significant progress. Will the situation only get worse the next 12 months? Why has security worsened since Alvaro Uribe left the presidency in 2010? And what should the government of President Juan Manuel Santos do to improve security?

Latinvex asked five leading experts:

Carlos Caicedo, director of Latin America forecasting at UK-based Exclusive Analysis
Frank Holder, Chairman of FTI Latin America and
Laude Fernandez, Managing Director of FTI Colombia.
Andres Otero,
Managing Director, Kroll Latin America.
Michael Shifter, President of the Inter-American Dialogue.

Latinvex: Will Colombia's security continue worsening the next 12 months?

Caicedo: The worsening  ...

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