The country's FARC rebels have promised to quit the drug trade, but other groups are ready and waiting to take control.
President Juan Manuel Santos said he expects to wrap up talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, by July 20, though he appears less confident of the peace deal's ratification in a subsequent re
Meanwhile, ongoing peace talks between rebels and the Colombian government have been repeatedly hampered by entrenched hostilities and kidnappings.
The government's decision to publicly blame the ELN for the disappearance of a Spanish correspondent and two Colombian TV journalists effectively rules out an advance in promised peace talks with the rebels. The ELN has yet to respond.
The Spanish correspondent and two Colombian journalists are missing in a remote area in which several different armed groups are known to operate.
Salud Hernández-Mora disappeared while working on a story about drug trafficking in a remote region. Witnesses say they saw her arguing with an unidentified man in the town of El Tarra, before taking a motorcycle to an unknown destination.
Nicolás spent his adolescence as a soldier in Colombia's FARC rebel forces. As a peace accord nears, his story provides a glimpse of the deep scars left by the country's half-century-long conflict.
Colombia peace process has accelerated the hunt for the remains of the estimated 45,000 who disappeared in its half-century-long conflict.
While talks continue with the FARC, Colombia and its smaller rebel force ELN announced Wednesday they will also begin formal peace negotiations.
The country’s second largest rebel group also decreed a 72-hour prohibition of commercial activity in areas it controls. The show of force comes as Colombia’s largest guerrilla force, the FARC, prepares to sign peace with the government.