Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos greeted the news that his government will soon be thrashing out a peace accord with the country’s second guerrilla group, Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN), as confirmation that a definitive post-conflict settlement is within sight. The very next day, however, an armed ‘strike’ by Colombia’s largest emerging criminal group (Bacrim) began: over the ensuing 48 hours six people were killed and urban areas were impacted in a way that comparable ‘strikes’ by the country’s guerrillas never achieve. The Bacrim are a serious threat to the peace talks. Guerrilla groups view them as paramilitaries and insist that the government disband them as a precondition of their own demobilisation.

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