CONTENT PREVIEW
Country Risk

Legislative delays to drive FARC politically motivated dissent, increasing IED risks to Colombia’s hydrocarbon and electricity assets

31 October 2017

Key Points

  • From 30 November, passing legislation related to the peace agreement will become harder with the loss of the ‘fast-track’ mechanism.
  • Failure to pass important legislation is likely to lead to greater numbers of dissenters motivated by political rather than criminal considerations.
  • Political dissenters are more likely to target strategic assets including oil pipelines and energy electricity distribution towers as well as headline-grabbing improvised explosive device attacks in urban centres.

Event

Important legislation to support the November 2016 peace agreement between the government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia is being frustrated by amendment proposals and absenteeism.

FARC commanders Iván Márquez (R) and Jesus Santrich arrive at the National Electoral Council to register the former guerrilla group as a new political party, the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force (Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria del Común: FARC), in Bogotá on 9 October 2017. (John Vizcaino/AFP/Getty Images)FARC commanders Iván Márquez (R) and Jesus Santrich arrive at the National Electoral Council to register the former guerrilla group as a new political party, the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force (Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria del Común: FARC), in Bogotá on 9 October 2017. (John Vizcaino/AFP/Getty Images)

On 30 November, the legislative ‘fast-track’ mechanism that reduces the amount of time and congressional scrutiny of laws supporting the implementation of the peace agreement reached with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) is due to expire. The loss of ‘fast-track’ is likely to add to the government’s difficulty is passing important peace process legislation before congressional and presidential elections in March and May 2018 respectively. The government has struggled to pass peace agreement-related legislation since July 2017, when the constitutional court watered down the ‘fast-track’ mechanism to allow Congress to propose amendments to government legislation and stripping the government’s right to veto such changes. Since the legislative amendment, proposals by congressional members and absenteeism have caused legislative gridlock. Several crucial pieces of legislation needed for the successful implementation of the peace agreement remain outstanding. These include political reform, transitional justice legislation (known as Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz: JEP), and agrarian reform. If political reform legislation is not passed before 11 November, when Colombia’s electoral season starts with the registration of candidates, the reforms will not apply to the 2018 elections.

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