This week we will be discussing security and counternarcotics issues in Colombia. We will be focusing on guerilla and paramilitary groups in Colombia (FARC, ELN, and AUC) and how they affect the security climate in Colombia. We will also briefly discuss U.S. policy toward these groups in Colombia and the U.S. government's partnership with the government of Colombia in combating these groups and the illicit drug market. They key difference between the two kinds of groups are that guerilla groups are left-wing and aim to overthrow the government while paramilitary groups counter the guerilla groups, but still present a threat to noncombatants.
Over the years, there have been a number of peace talks between the various groups (especially the FARC) and the government of Colombia. Most of them have failed, but the recent killing of the FARC leader Alfonso Cano potentially puts them in more of a position to negotiate terms with the government.