Over the past decade there has been a proliferation of irregular armed groups in Venezuela, including, among others, paramilitary groups, organized crime gangs, and irregular organizations of Colombian origin. The process of growth of irregular armed groups with control of territory and governance capacity occurs in a context of fragmentation of power that generates serious governance problems and constitutes a barrier to the recovery of institutions, democracy, and the rule of law in the country.
These groups are seriously affecting the rights of the Venezuelan population and limiting access to humanitarian action. Despite the challenges that this pose, it is a topic absent from public debate, so it is expected that one of the contributions of this text will be its positioning on the agenda, in the negotiation spaces of both Venezuela and Colombia.
Considering the penetration levels of many of these groups in Venezuelan territory, it would be illusory to propose dialogue or negotiation processes for the recovery of democracy and the rule of law in Venezuela, if the presence and role of these actors is not taken into account.
On the other hand, in the context of the Total Peace policy proposed by Colombian President Gustavo Petro, it is essential to make visible information on the effects of the presence of Colombian irregular armed groups in Venezuelan territory on the rights of the population, in the understanding that the existence of binational irregular armed groups requires binational responses.