Rough terrain and dense forest cover, coupled with low population densities and historically weak government presence have defined Colombia's borders with Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela, and historically have allowed for safe havens for domestic terrorist groups, particularly the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). The Government of Colombia maintained pressure on these groups to deny safe haven, disrupt terrorist financing efforts, and degrade terrorist groups' logistics infrastructure. In addition, Colombia conducted operations to counter the ability of the FARC and ELN to conduct terrorist attacks. Coupled with the peace accords with the FARC, Colombia experienced an overall decline in the total number of terrorist incidents in 2016. Despite these successes, the ELN and illegal armed groups, primarily known as "Bandas Criminales," continued to use the porous border, remote mountain areas, and jungles to maneuver, train, conduct kidnappings for ransom, cultivate and transport narcotics, operate illegal mines, "tax" the local populace, and engage in other illegal activities.

Improved relations with neighboring Ecuador have led to some increased cooperation on law enforcement issues. Colombia also continued to cooperate and share information with the Panamanian National Border Service. Additionally, Brazil continued implementing its Integrated Border Monitoring System in an effort to monitor its entire border, and along with continued cooperation with the Government of Colombia, addressed potential safe haven areas along their shared borders.


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