Security & Strategic Review - July 2024

COLOMBIA: Surging violence forces security rethink

Escalating violence in southwestern Colombia has forced a reshuffle in the military high command, with President Gustavo Petro replacing General Luis Mauricio Ospina as commander of the army. Petro appointed General Luis Emilio Cardozo in his place, and ordered a “total” military offensive in the southwest against the Estado Mayor Central (EMC) – the biggest grouping of dissident units of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Farc) guerrilla group. The EMC had engaged in preliminary peace talks with the Petro administration earlier this year but is now divided into two factions, with the alliance’s southwestern units apparently uninterested in any form of negotiated demobilisation.

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