Colombia, like many other Latin American countries, continues to experience a spike in violent crimes. The most worrying aspect of the whole scenario is the diminishing probability of culprits being punished. Most of the violence emanates from the fact is a hub for organised crime. Many officials feel that the increasing crime levels may have an impact on the FARC Peace Process.
The boom in coca production has had a massive impact on criminal violence in many parts of Colombia. The rise in violent crimes has also affected the neighbouring countries and as cocaine use continues to increase in Latin America, there are no signs of things getting better.
In the backdrop of all these developments, is the continuing FARC Peace Process. As the government continues its process of finding an agreement with the FARC rebels, observers are concerned that government corruption combined with the expanding drug networks could derail this historic opportunity to finally find a resolution to a long-standing problem.
As FARC rebels are demobilised in some areas, criminal groups are taking over in an attempt to control the highly lucrative illegal economies in these areas. A case in point is the recent violence in the Choco Department. Since the beginning of the year, almost 2,000 people have had to flee from the violence as rebel armies attempt to take over illegal gold mines and drug trafficking markets that have been abandoned after the demobilisation process.
The US Government stance on corruption and organised crime in Latin America has also been discussed extensively. The US insists that these countries must show more commitment to fighting impunity, corruption and organised crime. It has also taken measures to sanction and criminally charge Latin American elites who have links to organised crime. The US is also a strong supporter of efforts to fight corruption in Central America.
The Colombian justice system seems to be helpless as crime rises and unresolved cases continue to mount at an alarming rate.