’Grey zones’ in international law: areas controlled by the Colombian FARC-EP

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Authors:
  • Antal Berkes
  • Henry Torres Vásquez
  • Omar Huertas Díaz

Abstract

For several years the government has refused to recognize to the guerrilla group FARC-EP as a belligerent group, or, at least, as part of an armed conflict, forcing its treatment to a terrorist group. Nevertheless, bearing in mind that the criteria to analyze the configuration of a non-international armed conflict are objective, the applicable law to study the status of the FARC-EP is the humanitarian international law. In this sense, one of these objective requisites is the territorial control. In the frame of this control, the guerrilla group has managed to dominate the population and manipulate both the internal and external safety of several areas of the country, replacing this way the functions of the State.
The clearest example of this phenomenon happened during the peace negotiations with the Pastrana’s government in the demilitarised zone of Caguán. In this sense, it might be possible to considerer this area as a “independent republic”. In the history of Colombia, beyond that the use of this term dates of 1960, it has been used in ambiguous form and the areas to which it has referred seldom were not fulfilling with the requirements of the international law. In this regards, these grey zones are characterized for being areas where the State has strong limitations to exercise its jurisdiction and to impose its authority and where, at the same time, private groups dominate, delimit its territory and impose its will, committing, in most cases, violations of the human rights and of the humanitarian international law.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-91
Number of pages27
JournalIustitia
Volume14
Publication statusPublished - 2016