Timeline of the Colombian conflict

Last updated

This is a timeline of events related to the Colombian armed conflict.


This timeline is incomplete; some important events may be missing. Please help add to it.


Events that preceded the conflict.







  • General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla seizes power and offers an amnesty to Liberal and Conservative fighters, most of whom demobilize.



  • U.S. President Eisenhower sent a survey team to Colombia to investigate the political situation in Colombia. As a result, the U.S. decided to help Colombia in counter-insurgency doctrines. [1]

Colombian armed conflict




  • Reports of helicopters were being deployed with US instructors accompanying Colombian pilots. [1]


  • A United States special warfare team, trained in Kennedy's Counterinsurgency doctrine, and headed by Gen. William Yarborough, was sent to Colombia. Following this cycles of special warfare teams arrived in Colombia between 1962 and 1965 to continue training in counterinsurgency operations [3]
  • Colombian Army military offensive against Marquetalia fails to eliminate the enclave.



  • Radical Liberal and Communist guerrillas from Marquetalia created the Southern Bloc




  • The FARC begin kidnapping as a major source of income. [4]


  • FARC Kidnaps the Dutch consul in Cali Eric Leupin, demanding a US$1 million in ransom. [4]


  • October - FARC Dutch consul hostage is released. [4]


  • FARC Kidnaps a member of the United States Peace Corps.






  • Colombian army launched Operation Centauro against the guerrillas with no significant results.












  • January 1–18 FARC rebels are killed in a raid by the Colombian Air Force in the south while celebrating the New Year. [5]




  • 1 January – The Colombian military kills 13 FARC rebels in an airstrike. [6]
  • 22 January – FARC rebels have blown up two southern oil pipelines with dynamite and planted a bomb on the top coal exporter's northern railway after the end of a ceasefire. [7]
  • 9 November – A gunman opens fire on a bar in Cali and kills eight people. [8]






  • 5 January – Two encounters happened in southwestern Colombia, leaving at least 7 people killed. During the incident a rebel leader was shot dead. [9] [10]
  • 10 January – A Colombian soldier was shot dead by an ELN sniper in the department of Arauca. [11]
  • 13 January – Militants of the ELN kidnapped a contractor of Ecopetrolun in the Departament of Arauca. [12]
  • 19 January – Uniformed soldiers who were in an army base in the municipality of Teorama, Norte de Santander, were attacked in an unexpected attack by members of the ELN guerrillas. One soldier was killed and two more were injured. [13]
  • 21 January – A caravan made up of members of the National Protection Unit, along with members of the FARC political party, who were returning from a meeting in the village of El Oasis, was attacked by gunfire in the department of Arauca. One of the vehicles that was part of the caravan was incinerated and a civilian who was part of an oil company in the sector was killed in the attack. [14] [15]
  • 27 January
    • At least five police officers were killed and 42 others injured in a bombing attack that targeted a police station in the northern coastal city of Barranquilla. [16] [17]
    • In the town of Buenavista, Santa Rosa del Sur, an explosive device was hurled against the police substation in that area. The incident left two police officers dead and one injured. [18] [19]
    • 28 people were injured in an attack on a police station in San Lorenzo, in Northern Ecuador. [20] [21]
  • 28 January – At least five people were injured in an attack against the police in the metropolitan area of the Colombian city of Barranquilla. [22] [23]
  • 3 February – FARC dissidents blew up an energy tower in the southeastern Colombian department of Guaviare, which left some 22,000 people in the area without electricity. [24]
  • 4 February – Armed men threw a grenade at a house in Ituango and fired repeatedly at its facade. The incident left a 3-year-old girl dead. [25] [26]
  • 10 February – The National Liberation Army (ELN) activated explosive charges that damaged a bridge and road in the department of Cesar (north), leaving no victims. [27]
  • 12 February
    • Colombian soldier Jhon Jairo Delgado Bastidas was killed by guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN) in the municipality of Valdivia, in the department of Antioquia. [28]
    • The railway line of Colombia's largest coal mine, Cerrejón, was attacked with explosives that caused the suspension of trains without affecting production or exports. [29] [30]
  • 13 February – A dead policeman, identified as mayor Jorge Sáenz Animero, and three civilians injured, is the result of an attack perpetrated by armed men in the capital of Arauca. [31] [32]
  • 16 February – A bomb exploded in the Paloquemao sector of Bogotá. The attack did not leave people injured. [33]
  • 19 February – Two soldiers were injured in an attack by dissidents of the former Colombian FARC guerrilla against Ecuadorian soldiers on the border with Colombia. [34] [35]
  • 21 February – At least seven peasants were injured as they crossed a minefield mined by the extinct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla when they were carrying out coca leaf plantation removal work in the Nukak natural park in the Colombian department of Guaviare. [36]
  • 24 February – An attack by dissidents of the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas, on a police squad in the municipality of Puerto Rico in the department of Meta left one uniformed man dead and another wounded. [37]
  • 25 February – Three Venezuelans died in the municipality of Tibú, department of Norte de Santander, in an attack by the ELN. [38]
  • 27 February – At least five soldiers were killed and 13 wounded in a bomb attack against a Colombian army caravan in a rural area of the city of Cucuta, bordering Venezuela. [39] [40]
  • 28 February – A new assault by the ELN with gunfire and cylinder bombs, which was registered in the rural area of Convención, killed one soldier and injured four others. [41] [42]
  • 1 March – An ELN attack killed 2 soldiers and 3 others were injured in Convención. [43]
  • 3 March – Two policemen were killed in an attack with explosives on the road from Caldono to Siberia in the department of Cauca. [44]




  • 21 January – FARC dissidents clash with Venezuelan authorities.
  • 3 March – A military operation kills ten FARC dissidents. [45]

See also

Related Research Articles

Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia Colombian guerrilla movement

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People's Army is a guerrilla group involved in the continuing Colombian conflict starting in 1964. They are known to employ a variety of military tactics in addition to more unconventional methods, including terrorism. The FARC–EP was formed during the Cold War period as a Marxist–Leninist peasant force promoting a political line of agrarianism and anti-imperialism.

National Liberation Army (Colombia) revolutionary left-wing group

The National Liberation Army is a revolutionary left-wing armed group involved in the continuing Colombian conflict, which has existed in Colombia since 1964. The ELN advocate a composite communist ideology of Marxism-Leninism and liberation theology. In 2013, it was estimated that the ELN forces consisted of between 1,380 and 3,000 guerrillas. According to former ELN national directorate member Felipe Torres, one fifth of ELN supporters have taken up arms. The ELN has been classified as a terrorist organization by the governments of Colombia, United States, Canada the European Union and Venezuela's National Assembly.

Colombian conflict Low-intensity asymmetric war in Colombia

The Colombian conflict began on May 27, 1964, and is a low-intensity asymmetric war between the government of Colombia, far-right paramilitary groups, crime syndicates, and far-left guerrilla groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the Popular Liberation Army (EPL), fighting each other to increase their influence in Colombian territory. Some of the most important international contributors to the Colombian conflict include multinational corporations, the United States, Cuba, and the drug trafficking industry.

The Eastern Bloc of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, from September 2010 known as Bloque Comandante Jorge Briceño, in honour of the slain guerrilla leader, was considered to be the strongest military faction of the guerrilla group. It was divided into groups of 50–400 combatants in each group, which patrolled and controlled different areas of Colombia's Eastern and Central-Eastern territory, as well as helped to carry out the killings, taxation, and arrests necessary to advance the organization's financial and political goals.

The Western Bloc of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia was the smallest of the organization blocs in size, although not in military capability. It was routinely held responsible for attacks that occurred in Cali and its surroundings. The specific divisions of the group are arguable. Some of its divisions or 'fronts', as they were commonly called, are shown below. Many of these fronts sometimes worked together towards a certain mission, while others were further divided into 'columns' and 'companies' with a smaller number of members. For more general information, see FARC-EP Chain of Command.

The Southern Bloc of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia was the first bloc to exist and is where the roots of the guerrilla movement lie. The bloc has been held responsible for several notorious attacks, including the infamous "donkey-bomb", numerous attacks against military bases, as well as Íngrid Betancourt´s kidnapping. It was also blamed by government investigators and prosecutors for the bombing of the El Nogal club. FARC itself denied that any of its members were responsible for the attack.

The Central Bloc of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia operated strategically in the Andes Mountains, around the middle of Colombia. The group was considered as the largest threat to Bogotá and its economy, as it operated in areas surrounding the capital. Strong military action in the 2000s, however, forced the bloc to hide in remote parts of the mountains, away from many highways and cities.

The Middle Magdalena Bloc of the FARC-EP was a FARC-EP bloc, notable for its involvement in the conflict with the AUC until the latter's demobilization in 2004. After that, it became one of the Colombian army's biggest worries as FARC started once again to gain control over the territory.

Internal conflict in Peru Insurgency waged by armed communist groups in Peru

The internal conflict in Peru is an ongoing armed conflict between the Government of Peru and the Maoist guerilla group Shining Path. The conflict began on 17 May 1980, and from 1982 to 1997 the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement waged its own insurgency as a Marxist–Leninist rival to the Shining Path. It is estimated that there have been between 50,000 and 70,000 deaths, making it the bloodiest war in Peruvian history, since the European colonization of the country.

Jamundí Municipality and town in Valle del Cauca Department, Colombia

Jamundí is a town and municipality in the Department of Valle del Cauca, Colombia.

Insurgency in Paraguay 2005–present left-wing insurgency in Paraguay

The insurgency in Paraguay, also known as the Paraguayan People’s Army insurgency and the EPP rebellion, is an ongoing low-level armed conflict in northeastern Paraguay. Between 2005 and the summer of 2014, the ongoing EPP campaign has resulted in at least 50 deaths in total, the majority of them being local ranchers, private security guards and police officers, along with several insurgents. During that same period the group perpetrated 28 kidnappings for ransom and a total of 85 "violent acts".

FARC dissidents FARC members continuing to fight since 2016

FARC dissidents, also known as Carlos Patino front, refers to a group, formerly part of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, who have refused to lay down their arms after the FARC-government peace treaty came into effect in 2016 or resumed their insurgency afterwards. In 2018, the dissidents numbered some 2,000 to 2,500 armed combatants with an unknown number of civilian militia supporting them. The FARC dissidents have become "an increasing headache" for the Colombian armed forces, as they have to fight them, the EPL, ELN and Clan del Golfo at the same time.

2019 Bogotá car bombing Attack on the Colombian General Santander Police Academy

On 17 January 2019, a vehicle was driven into the General Santander National Police Academy in Bogotá, Colombia. The truck forced its way into the facility, hit a wall and detonated, killing 22 people and injuring 68 others. Suicide attacks are unusual in Colombia. The car contained about 80 kilograms (180 lb) of pentolite. It was the deadliest attack on the Colombian capital since the 2003 El Nogal Club bombing and the first terrorist attack on the capital since the 2017 Centro Andino bombing. The National Liberation Army (ELN) accepted responsibility for the attack and justified it as a response to the bombings made by the Colombian government during the unilateral ceasefire.

Catatumbo campaign War between militia groups in Colombias Catatumbo region over drug trade

The Catatumbo campaign has been an ongoing period of strategic violence between militia faction groups in the Catatumbo region of Colombia and Venezuela since January 2018. It is an extension of the War on drugs and developed after the Colombian peace process of 2016. The existence of the war was officially announced in August 2019 after a Human Rights Watch (HRW) investigation. Colombian media reports that the war has directly affected an estimated 145,000 people, with the HRW estimating this at 300,000.

Events in the year 2021 in Colombia.

2021 Apure clashes

The 2021 Apure clashes started on 21 March 2021 in the south of the Páez Municipality, in the Apure state in Venezuela, specifically in La Victoria, a location bordering with Colombia, between guerrilla groups identified as Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) dissidents and the Venezuelan government led by Nicolás Maduro.


  1. 1 2 SOA Watch Archived 2007-10-16 at the Wayback Machine
  2. FARC-EP timeline Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Peter Dale Scott Drugs, Oil, and War Rowman and Littlefield Publishers: Oxford 2003 Archived 2007-02-18 at archive.today
  4. 1 2 3 Military.com - FARC activities
  5. "Colombian forces raid Farc camp".
  6. "Thirteen Colombian Farc rebels 'killed in air strike'". BBC News. January 2013.
  7. Acosta, Luis Jaime (22 January 2013). "Colombia says FARC rebels hit two oil pipelines, coal rail line". Reuters.
  8. "Gunman kills eight in bar in Cali, Colombia". Reuters. 9 November 2013.
  9. "Enfrentamientos entre bandas ilegales dejan al menos 7 muertos en el suroeste de Colombia". W Radio (in Spanish). 5 January 2018. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  10. "Seis personas muertas deja enfrentamiento de bandas criminales en Bolívar, Cauca". Noticias RCN (in Spanish). 5 January 2018. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  11. "Militar fue asesinado por un francotirador del Eln, en vía de Arauca". El Tiempo (in Spanish). 10 January 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  12. "Eln secuestra a contratista de la empresa Ecopetrol en Saravena, Arauca". Caracol Radio (in Spanish). 13 January 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  13. "Nuevo ataque del ELN deja un soldado muerto y dos más heridos". El Universal Cartagena (in Spanish). 19 January 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  14. "Atentan contra militantes del partido de las Farc en Arauca". La FM (in Spanish). 21 January 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  15. "Farc denuncia ataque armado en Arauca". El Universal Cartagena (in Spanish). 21 January 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  16. "Colombia: Bombing kills at least 5 police officers". Anadolu Agency. 28 January 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  17. "El ELN se atribuyó el atentado de este sábado en Barranquilla". Portafolio (in Spanish). 28 January 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  18. "Dos policías muertos y un herido tras atentado contra estación de Policía en Santa Rosa del Sur". RCN Radio (in Spanish). 28 January 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  19. "Mindefensa atribuye al Eln atentados en Barranquilla, Soledad y Santa Rosa". El Espectador (in Spanish). 29 January 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  20. "Al menos 13 policías heridos de carácter leve por un atentado contra una comisaría del norte de Ecuador". Europa Press (in Spanish). 27 January 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  21. "Ecuador links police barracks bombing to Colombia FARC dissidents". Reuters. 29 January 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  22. "Nuevo ataque contra la Policía en Colombia deja cinco heridos". Globovisión (in Spanish). 28 January 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  23. "Eln es autor de atentados en Barranquilla, Soledad y Santa Rosa: Mindefensa". Caracol Radio (in Spanish). 29 January 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  24. "Atentado contra torre de energía en Guaviare deja sin luz a medio departamento". El Espectador (in Spanish). 4 February 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  25. "Ataque con granada en Ituango (Antioquia) dejó una bebé muerta". El Tiempo (in Spanish). 5 February 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  26. "Niña de dos años fallece tras atentado con granada en una casa de Ituango, Antioquia". Noticias Caracol (in Spanish). 5 February 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  27. "ELN inicia 'paro armado' en Colombia con dos bombazos". Excelsior (in Spanish). 10 February 2018. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  28. "El ELN asesina a un soldado colombiano en el tercer día de paro armado". Noticias Venezuela (in Spanish). 12 February 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  29. "Ataque explosivo paraliza línea férrea de minera Cerrejón en Colombia". Swissinfo (in French). 13 February 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  30. "Atentan contra tramo de la línea férrea del Cerrejón en La Guajira". El Espectador (in Spanish). 13 February 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  31. "Señalan al Eln de realizar 'plan pistola' tras asesinato de policía". El Tiempo (in Spanish). 13 February 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  32. "Arauca: Dos hombres asesinaron a un policía y dejaron tres personas heridas". Colombia (in Spanish). 13 February 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  33. "Con bomba panfletaria en Bogotá, continúan ataques del Eln". El Espectador (in Spanish). 16 February 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  34. "Dos soldados ecuatorianos heridos tras ataque de disidentes de las FARC". El Universo (in Spanish). 20 February 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  35. "Militares fueron atacados por disidentes de las FARC con un mortero artesanal". El Comercio (in Spanish). 20 February 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  36. "Siete erradicarores resultaron heridos tras caer en campo minado de las Farc". Confidencial Colombia (in Spanish). 22 February 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  37. "Disidencias de las Farc asesinaron a un policía en Meta". El Espectador (in Spanish). 25 February 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  38. "Tres venezolanos muertos en presunto ataque del ELN en Colombia". EXTRA! Noticias Venezuela (in Spanish). 25 February 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  39. "Cinco militares muertos en emboscada al Ejército en Norte de Santander". Noticias Venezuela (in Spanish). 27 February 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  40. "Cinco militares muertos en emboscada al Ejército en Norte de Santander". Caracol Radio (in Spanish). 27 February 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  41. Tiempo, Casa Editorial El (1 March 2018). "Nuevo ataque del Eln dejó un soldado muerto y tres más heridos". El Tiempo (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  42. "Eln es el responsable de ataque en el municipio de Convención". Wradio (in Spanish). 1 March 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  43. "Dos soldados muertos y tres heridos dejaron ataques del Eln". Radio Nacional de España (in Spanish). 1 March 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  44. "Dos policías muertos en ataque con explosivos en Caldono, Cauca". RCN Radio (in Spanish). 3 March 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  45. "Ten rebels killed, three captured in Colombia military bombing". Reuters . 2021-03-03. Retrieved 2021-12-05.