L'oeil de la Genève Internationale
The Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime (GITOC) is a Geneva-based research and policy think tank founded in 2011. Comprised of a network of over 150 global policymakers, law enforcement, humanitarian and development practitioners, and expert analysts, the Global Initiative undertakes catalytic research and facilitates expert dialogues to strengthen multi-sectorial responses to organised crime and mitigate its most deleterious impacts.
On the 24th August, after more than five decades of conflict and three years of negotiations, the Colombian government and the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) rebel group reached a peace agreement. To provide a foundation upon which to assess current and future planning and frameworks within a context of a post-peace agreement, the GITOC and the Geneva Peace building Platform hosted a seminar entitled "The FARC peace process – ushering in a new chapter in Colombia's history of crime and violence?"
According to the organization "while the peace deal should signal an end to the political violence of the FARC, the criminal economies they control, estimated to be worth up to a billion dollars a year, will not just disappear. The FARC are heavily involved in the drug trade, controlling up to 70 per cent of Colombia's coca production worth billions of dollars, as well as illegal mining and extortion".
The seminar showcased Jeremy McDermott, Executive Director of Insight Crime, an Americas-based organized crime observatory, to elucidate the implications of Colombia's reconfiguring criminal economy. He explained, that "A peace agreement will affect control over Colombia's illicit industries, and criminal actors are positioning themselves to take over FARC revenues". He also warned, "The elements in the rebels are likely to criminalize and go into business for themselves, and competition may cause levels of violence to increase rather than decline".
A full report "Post-Peace: Colombia’s Changing Criminal Landscape” will be published on the Global Initiative website in mid-October.
In May 2016, the internationally recognized documentary photographer, Federico Rios set out to document the FARC. This picture was taken during the front leader's birthday. Rios reported to the British Journal of Photography, "The rebel group is present virtually everywhere in Colombia. They have extensive knowledge about the jungle and are a mix of different ethnic and social backgrounds — farmers, academics, indigenous people, afros, and mestizos. Besides, 40% of the FARC are female". Federico Rios focuses on social issues in Latin America. He is a member of the curatorial committee of @everydaymacondo Instagram Project and of Colectivo +1.