Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) could form a central pillar of a lasting peace in Colombia. But how can you make it attractive for those heavily involved in organised crime, which profit the most from the country’s internal conflict?
Having secured the Republican Presidential nomination and selected Congressman Paul Ryan as his Vice-Presidential running mate, Mitt Romney has been sharpening his foreign policy argument against President Barack Obama, setting out a hawkish national security agenda. Yet apart from a difference of style, there seems to be no major difference between the two contenders.
Increasing pressure from anti-drug trafficking activities are forcing Colombia's illegally armed groups to diversify their traditional income streams. Against this backdrop, revenue generated through other sectors, such as gold mining, could begin to rival the drug trade as a leading driver of regional insecurity.
The military was once a central pillar of authoritarian dictatorships in Latin America. Now, democratic governments are relying on them to restore law and order, bypassing failing police forces. This is a high-risk strategy, policymakers need to ensure that civilian control of militaries remain paramount.