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Kidnapping risks in Colombia

Colombia’s long-standing internal armed conflict continues to pose significant security challenges for companies based in the country. In recent years, counter-insurgency military operations have weakened the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN), the country’s two major guerrilla organisations. However, both groups remain active in large swathes of the country with over 6,500 FARC operatives still on duty, according to April 2014 estimates by the Colombian Ministry of Defence.

Verisk Maplecroft’s Terrorism and Security Dashboard (MTSD) uses proprietary data on FARC and ELN activities to build up a detailed picture of localised kidnapping risk in Colombia. The threat posed by these groups is concentrated in three areas of the country, in line with their key areas of operation. In particular, the groups focus their operations in the south-west, in the north-western department of Antioquia, and on the eastern border with Venezuela, which remains a critical strategic rear-guard and corridor for cocaine trafficking.