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 former combatants during that year, which represented the most violent year since the peace accord was signed, with a total of 178 murders, around ten forced disappearances and thirty attempted murders. Using data provided from the Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria de Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian Agency for Reintegration or Agencia para la Reincorpración y la Normalización (ARN) for its acronym in Spanish, our project intends to map this violence against ex-combatants in an attempt to understand why former guerrilla fighters are being targeted and by whom. The DDR (disarmament, demobilisation 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-fighters is integral to this process. When ex-combatants become targets for murder and other forms of violence, the peace process itself is at risk. However, within Colombia, very little attention has been paid to this subject. The studies that do exist concentrate on the murder of social leaders within the post-peace agreement period and not specifically on ex-combatants. While some of these studies make reference to the murders of former FARC guerrillas, we should not assume that the murders of social leaders and ex-combatants are directly linked. These studies conclude, for example, that the biggest motivator for these murders are territorial control or territorial disputes (see Prem et al., 2018). We expect the murders of ex-combatants to include factors beyond this. Nonetheless, this does offer a useful contextual framework against which to set our study, even if our specific focus is DDR.


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

Commitments / Obligations

Contribution to existing knowledge:
1. An academic article in a highly ranked international journal such as Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research or International Studies Quarterly.
Social dissemination of knowledge:
2. An interactive online map that presents details of violence against ex-combatants. The interactive map will be online and open to the public, potentially published by Rutas del Conflicto;
3. A conference 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 Colombian Government, the FARC and the UN.
Formative research and education:
5. A research seminar in the Faculty of International, Political and Urban Studies to present preliminary findings.
6. Enhance research skills and knowledge of undergraduate semillero.
Effective start/end date10/1/2010/14/21

Main Funding Source

  • Internal


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