President Gustavo Petro took office in August 2022, and introduced the policy of “Paz Total” (Total Peace). This policy allows the Colombian Government to negotiate with a range of illegal armed groups that are still active in the Colombian conflict.

These actors include:

  • Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) – the National Liberation Army;
  • Estado Mayor Central de las FARC (EMC) – Dissidents of the now-defunct FARC-EP that did not lay down arms in 2016;
  • Segunda Marquetalia – FARC commanders that returned to the conflict in 2019 after declaring that the Duque Government failed to implement the agreements made in the 2016 Peace Accord;
  • A series of criminal organisations, including the Clan del Golfo (also known as the Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia – AGC) that did not disarm during the demobilization of the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia – AUC

Colombia has the second highest number of criminal organisations after the Democratic Republic of Congo with around 50 criminal groups that are engaged in illegal mining, the trafficking of people, drugs, oil, wildlife and arms, illegal contracts and extortion.

The Petro Government is focused on negotiated settlements, which is a welcome approach and a necessary shift in strategy from the previous government of Ivan Duque, where the focus was almost exclusively on military intervention to address insecurity in Colombia.

Below you will find regular updates on the implementation of Total Peace and the different negotiations that the Colombian Government is initiating.

Peace Talks