Recent Violence in Colombia

Latin America and the Caribbean


  • The indigenous organization Ascatidar is suing the Armed Forces for the death of Humberto Peroza, a student who was killed during a fight between the Army and FARC guerillas in a rural zone in Arauca. A lawyer for the group has stated that the group considers Peroza's death to be a "false positive," or an extrajudicial execution in which the victim is falsely presented as a guerrilla fighter or paramilitary.


  • The Centro de Recursos para el Análisis de Conflictos (Cerac) reported that 36% of the 644 murders committed in Bogotá between January and May were vengeance killings by criminal gangs.


  • A FARC attack on an army checkpoint in Puerto Rico left 2 civilians dead and 7 people gravely injured. According to General Fabricio Cabrera, the attack was an attempt on behalf of the FARC to regain control of the Guayas River, a strategic point for trafficking arms and supplies. Authorities believe the attack was orchestrated by the same FARC commander that kidnapped three Chinese oil workers earlier this month. Authorities also report that the attacks indicate a change in strategy for the FARC, who since the launch of PLAN 2010 have expanded their use of landmines and engaged in more hit and run attacks.


  • FARC guerrillas attacked a dwelling in Huila, firing upon a house inhabited by both children and adults. A 12-year-old child was injured and had to be airlifted to a hospital in Neiva.


  • Edward Castellanos Benjumea, a mayoral candidate in San Juan de Arama, was kidnapped by FARC guerrilas while campaigning in a rural area. Five people who had been accompanying Castellanos were also taken kidnapped, but were released soon after. The Santos administration has struggled to provide protection for the estimated 170,000 candidates currently running for local or national office in Colombia. Colombia's Mission of Electoral Observation (MOE) reported that 14 candidates have been assassinated this year.


  • A bomb attack on a police station Iscaundé left one child dead and 10 people injured.
  • 15 people were injured when unknown assailants threw a fragmentation grenade at the mayor of El Charco. The attach occurred nearly simultaneously with the attack in Iscaundé. While the mayor escaped unarmed, the grenade hit a church in the main square.

Norte de Santander

  • A firefight between the Army's 30th Bridage and the "Hector Collective" front of the ELN left three soldiers and four guerillas dead. According to the Armed Forces, the guerrillas were planting land mines when the soldiers found them.

Valle del Cauca

  • Authorities stopped a car loaded with explosives that was bound for Popayan's main square. The bomb detonated, killing one and wounding 16, but police officers reported that if the car had reached its intended destination, it would have killed dozens of people. The driver of the car told police he was a member of the ELN. This is the first car bomb attack in Colombia since August.
  • Two police officers were killed by FARC snipers while driving on the department's main highway.

This blog was written by CIP Intern Claire McCleskey