The FARC: The Revolutionary Armed Forces Of Colombia

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"[A] misperception is that, if the peace process ends, a terrible war will ensue that will destroy the country. This is not true, because we are already in that war." - Jorge Enrique Mora, former commander of Colombian military. 2014 marks the 50th year that the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) was founded in the rural farmland of Colombia. Citing the inequalities of globalization and corrupting effects of foreign investment, the FARC grew from a grassroots socialist movement into the most powerful guerilla organization in Latin America. The rise to power was wrought with brutality, fear, and illegal drugs. The Colombian people in rural and remote areas once prided themselves on the continuation of the FARC for decades but by the …show more content…
These factors eroded the once glorified image of the freedom fighters in the jungles of Colombia. The FARC was formed in the early 1960 's by a small peasant group in Marquetalia, Colombia, a small town southwest of the capital, Bogotá. The sixty plus peasants were angry at the government for directing military action against them five years earlier. The military invaded their village, burned down their houses, and razed their crops because the peasants wanted self governance. With the events from a successful Cuban revolution fresh in their minds, these peasants formed the FARC in 1966. This group envisioned a similar revolution would occur in their own country. In comparison to Cuba, Colombia has ten times the area, so a larger force was necessary to militarily challenge the Colombian government. In addition, the FARC needed widespread rural support for an effective revolution to succeed. For the next two decades, the FARC and its political arm, the Colombian Communist Party, gained support from the rural populace. They did this with their supportive views on land reform, opposition to foreign control of resources, democratization, and human rights. The FARC …show more content…
After the loss of the demilitarized zone in 2002 by a Colombian military aided by the United States, the FARC threatened and later shifted violence from the rural regions to urban cities. The FARC started a campaign of assassinations, bombings, and kidnappings of officials in order to grow their terror fueled sphere of influence. The transition from a Marxist insurgency to a drug cartel and indiscriminate attacks on civilians led to a retraction of popular support throughout Colombia. The FARC 's use of violence and inability to translate regional power to political power led many core supporters to revoke support. The FARC was now exploiting those that they originally protected from oppressors that they now resembled. Dr. Phillip A. Hough describes a "combination of increasing extractive demands and decreasing capacity to provide protection that delegitimated [sic] the FARC in the eyes of a significant portion of the local population and led to an upsurge in guerilla violence against civilian noncombatants" (Hough, 2011, p.382). The FARC incorrectly assumed that the support they garnered from rural areas was reflected in urban cities such as Bogotá, Cali, and

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