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Part 3 The Post 9/11-Era (2001–), 53 ‘Operation Phoenix’, the Colombian Raid Against the FARC in Ecuador—2008

Mónica Pinto, Marcos Kotlik

From: The Use of Force in International Law: A Case-Based Approach

Edited By: Tom Ruys, Olivier Corten, Alexandra Hofer

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 25 May 2024

Individuals and non-state actors — Self-defence — Armed conflict — Armed forces

This contribution examines the 2008 operation conducted by Colombia against a camp of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) located in the territory of Ecuador. It sets out the facts, the legal positions of both countries, the reactions of other governments in the continent, and how the situation was addressed within the Organization of American States and the Rio Group. It then analyses the operation in light of discussions about the possible exercise of the right to self-defence against non-state actors. The closing section suggests that, although the political cost for Colombia was relatively low, this case contributes to a restrictive interpretation of the right, to self-defence based on the inviolability of territorial integrity.

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