Conflict and Fragility

Reports and papers

Oil and gold: private sector and post-conflict risks in Colombia

30 Sep 2015 - 10:10
Source: AP/Photo/William Fernando Martinez

Gold, oil and the lure of violence:private sector and post-conflict risks in Colombia.

For the first time in decades Colombia seems to be on course towards a negotiated settlement with its two remaining guerrilla groups, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the National Liberation Army. However, the post-conflict prospects are not altogether auspicious. Abundant weapons in circulation, demobilised combatants with criminal expertise, and multiple opportunities for applying this know-how in both legal and illegal activities and organisations as part of the steady and continuing reconfiguration of criminal groups pose serious risks to stability and the sustainability of peace in Colombia over the coming years.

This report presents a number of the challenges for Colombia’s post-conflict stability arising from criminal networks and activities in regions associated with the extractive industry – and specifically in regions dedicated to oil extraction and gold mining. While domestic and foreign investments have risen over recent years, and overall security conditions have improved, it is likely that armed violence will continue and undergo further transformations in these regions. The emergence of new sorts of non-conventional armed violence, operating across the spectrum between conflict and criminality, illustrates the challenge of consolidating a post-conflict arrangement in Colombia.