State Building and Conflict Resolution in Colombia, 1986-1994

By Harvey F. Kline | Go to book overview
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the church, and the political parties. Its objectives would be to achieve initial agreements about human rights. The second phase, with a duration of six months, would be one of the founding of a Council of National Consultation, in accord with the formula agreed upon in the first step. It would deal with national matters and would be coordinated by the executive branch. Its task would be to examine and reach consensus on measures to bring peace.

The third phase, of ten months, would be one of demobilization and consultation under Article 104 of the new constitution. Its final result would be a calendar of demobilization and the transformation of guerrilla organizations into legal political parties.86 Nothing came of this proposal.


In its last year, the Gaviria government had three notable successes in negotiating with small guerrilla groups--with the CRS, the militias in Medellín, and the Francisco Gárnica Front of the FARC. In all cases, government's sights were set at the subgroup level, not at that of the Coordinadora.

The number of CRS troops was uncertain, with one source putting it at three hundred, in addition to some one thousand militants operating clandestinely in the country.87 Another said that their exact number varied from two hundred (government) to seven hundred (them). According to some, the ELN killed some of the CRS members after they began talking of negotiation with the government.88 A sociologist who was interviewed reported yet a smaller, different, and fluctuating number: "The size of the CRS changed over time. Bejarano told me that they first said that they had ten men, later twelve. They had connections with some of the militias populares and some of their troops joined in the CRS negotiation. Also Bejarano told me that some of the people who got reinsertion with the CRS already had received the same kind of benefits with the M-19 demobilization."89

In the second most important success of Gaviria's final year, as a follow-up to the CRS demobilization in May of 1994, 630 members of three militia groups of Medellín--the Del Pueblo para el Pueblo (Of the People for the People), Del Valle de Aburrά (Of the Valley of Aburrá), and Metropolitanas (Metropolitans)--signed an agreement to disarm and demobilize. The 630 young people who demobilized represented some 85 percent of the organized armed groups of Medellin.90


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State Building and Conflict Resolution in Colombia, 1986-1994


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