Colombia’s mining sector remains beset by illegal activity, despite the demobilisation of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), the guerrilla movement which derived much of its income from the illicit extraction of gold. As rival guerrilla and criminal groups fight over resources in territory vacated by the FARC, the country’s mining exports will continue to pose a high risk to corporate supply chains and require detailed due diligence.

Impact

  • While the FARC’s demobilisation presents investment opportunities by opening up its former territory, armed groups have not hesitated to seize the initiative in vying over the gold-rich zones on the Pacific Coast.
  • The Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) guerrilla group and the country’s largest criminal organisation, the Clan del Golfo (Gulf Clan), have become the key players in Colombia’s lucrative illegal mining industry.
  • Regulatory hazards deriving from the purchase of minerals in Colombia remain high but can be mitigated by compliance initiatives that address third-party risks.