Mapping the Murders of Ex-Farc Combatants Criminal or Political Violence? The Role of Security in DDR processes

Project: Research Project

Project Details


In December 2019, the UN Mission in Colombia registered 77 deaths of ex-combatants during that year, which represented the most violent year since the signing of the peace agreement, with a total of 178 murders, around ten forced disappearances and thirty assassination attempts. Based on data provided by the Alternative Revolutionary Force of Colombia (FARC) and the Agency for Reincorporation and Normalization (ARN), our project aims to map this violence against ex-combatants to try to understand why and by whom. former guerrilla fighters are attacked. The DDR (disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration) process aims to enable ex-combatants to become active, productive, and peaceful members of their civilian communities (Ozerdem, 2013; Shulhofer-Wohl and Sambanis, 2010). The security of ex-combatants is an integral part of this process. When ex-combatants become targets of assassination and other forms of violence, the peace process itself is in jeopardy. However, within Colombia, very little attention has been paid to this issue. The studies that do exist focus on the assassination of social leaders in the period following the peace agreement and not specifically on ex-combatants. Although some of these studies refer to the murders of former FARC guerrillas, it should not be assumed that the murders of social leaders and ex-combatants are directly related. These studies conclude, for example, that the biggest motivator for these murders is territorial control or territorial disputes (see Prem et al., 2018). We hope that the killings of ex-combatants include factors beyond this. However, this offers a useful contextual framework on which to base our study, even if our specific focus is on DDR.


DDR, FARC, post-conflict violence, security of ex-combatants, Colombian peace, process

Commitments / Obligations

Contribution to existing knowledge:
1. An academic article in a high-level international journal such as the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research or International Studies Quarterly.
Social dissemination of knowledge:
2. An online interactive map that presents details of the violence against ex-combatants. The interactive map will be online and open to the public, possibly published by Rutas del Conflicto;
3. A lecture paper at an international academic conference (Planned: International Studies Conference - Los Angeles, October 2020);
4. A policy briefing for key stakeholders, including the ARN, the Government of Colombia, the FARC and the United Nations.
Formative research and education:
5. A research seminar in the Faculty of International, Political and Urban Studies to present the preliminary conclusions.
6. Improve research skills and knowledge of university hotbeds.
Effective start/end date10/1/2010/14/21

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Main Funding Source

  • Competitive Funds
  • Seed Capital


  • Bogotá D.C.


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