Colombia 11th on list of countries with extreme risk of terrorist attack: report

Posted on Jul 25 2014 - 11:12am by Today News
(Photo: Confidencial Colombia)

Colombia is in the top 12 countries with an extreme risk of a terrorist attack, suffering hundreds of separate attacks over the last year according to a global report released on Thursday.

Maplecroft, a security monitoring service from a global risk analytics company, released a report that pinpoints countries that are in extreme risk.  Their analysis placed Colombia at number 11, citing high levels of instability and continuing weak governance.

Military ‘surge,’ election prelude leads to spikes

During a year span from July 2013 to June 2014, there were 640 terrorist attacks, according to a report released by Maplecroft.

Last October had the highest spike with 85 terrorist attacks, only followed by March of this year-during the presidential campaign.  These intentional surges in attacks demonstrate the continued control of rebel groups in Colombia.

“Spikes in insurgent activity in October 2013 and March 2014 underlines the rebels’ continued capacity to increase operational tempo at will, despite significant gains made by the Colombian military in recent years and a thinning out of the FARC’s ranks,” according to the report.

Breakdown of Attacks

In October 2013, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos sent in a ‘surge’ of 50,000 troops to suppress the Southern and Eastern blocs of the FARC and to capture or kill top FARC leaders.

MORE: Santos to send 50,000 troops after FARC

In March of this year, presidential and congressional campaigns were in full swing and reported attacks increased dramatically, tailing off as both the FARC and ELN declared a ceasefire in May and June for the presidential elections.

MORE: FARC upheld ceasefire in Colombia’s presidential elections: NGOs

Insurgent activity increased during the lead-up, leading to 35 deaths, 90 casualties and eight kidnapping victims. It was still one of the most peaceful elections in decades.

In June this year, FARC militants put in place six low-powered improvised explosive devices (IEDs) across Bogota in an effort to mark the 50th anniversary of the rebel group.

MORE: FARC responsible for 3 packet bomb explosions in Colombia’s capital: mayor

Attacks on energy structures are becoming increasingly popular for the ELN. The rebel group has been targeting energy infrastructure to gain leverage for their upcoming peace talks, according to Maplecroft.

MORE: 2nd guerrilla attack on oil pipeline in northeast Colombia in 5 days

Investment woes

Terror attacks can affect a company’s decision whether or not to invest in that country.

“Libya, Kenya and Egypt are among a handful of countries to witness a significant increase in risk in the MTSD and investor confidence in key sectors, including tourism and oil and gas, has been hurt,” said Jordan Perry, a Principal Political Risk Analyst at Maplecroft.

This could hurt the economy and overall international interest in Colombia and it’s booming companies from the coffee region, energy sector, or others.

“When faced with rising security costs and decreasing safety for their personnel, companies can, and do, reconsider their country-level commitments,” said Perry.

On a global scale

Over the last 12 months, global fatalities from acts of terrorism have risen 30% compared to the previous five-year average, according to a new Maplecroft in the risk of terrorist attacks.

Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Nigeria made the top five on the list which logs, analyses and plots all reported incidents of terrorism, piracy, political violence and human rights abuses by security forces.

The countries chosen also showed high levels of instability and weak governance. Globally, The Maplecroft Terrorism and Security Dashboard (MTSD) recorded 18,668 fatalities in the 12 months prior to July 1st, up 29.3% from last year.

Sources

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