This information is derived from the State Department's Office of Investment Affairs, Investment Climate Statement. Any questions on the ICS can be directed to EB-ICS-DL@state.gov
Last Published: 7/31/2017
Security in Colombia has improved significantly over the past 16 years.  Colombia experienced a significant decrease in terrorist activity, due in large part to a bilateral cease-fire between government forces and the FARC.  On November 26, 2016 President Santos signed a renegotiated peace agreement with the FARC to end half a century of confrontation, after the original peace accord was rejected in an October plebiscite.  Congressional approval of a peace accord between the government and the FARC on November 30, 2016 put in motion a six-month disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration process, in part to become a legal political organization.  Colombian government figures show that the number of terrorist acts decreased 55 percent from 2015 to 2016.  Despite the National Liberation Army (ELN) conducting ongoing negotiations with the Colombian government in Quito, Ecuador, beginning in January 2017, the group continues a low-cost, high-impact asymmetric insurgency.  ELN attacks, alongside powerful narco-criminal group operations, are posing a threat to commercial activity and investment, especially in rural zones where government control is weaker. 

Still, FARC demobilization could bring greater development opportunities to rural regions.  The Colombian government estimates FARC insurgents at around 7,000 armed members and 7,000 to 8,000 support members known as “militias.” The FARC is currently undergoing demobilization and disarmament in concentration zones under supervision by the UN.  The government and the UN estimate roughly five percent of FARC forces, or 300 to 500 FARC members are dissidents and are not complying with the peace agreement.  The government estimates the ELN has 1,500 to 2,000 armed members.  The ELN continues to attack oil pipelines, mines, roads, and electricity towers to disrupt economic activity and pressure the government.  The ELN also extorts businesses in their areas of operation, kidnap personnel, and destroy property of entities that refuse to pay protection or extortion.

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Colombia Economic Development and Investment Market Access