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Farc Latin America

In: English and Literature

Submitted By saca224
Words 1723
Pages 7
Latin America & Caribbean Studies
16 December 2013

FARC: Terrorist Group or Freedom Fighters? The ever-on going debate regarding whether or not the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) are terrorist or freedom fighters has not yet been settled, after careful evaluation it is very clear. According to Webster's dictionary, a terrorist is “someone who uses the deliberate creation and exploitation of fear to promote political change.” All terrorists commit violent acts. A freedom fighter is “one who seeks political change for their people and use violence only as a stirrer.” So how can we differentiate the FARC in order to know if they are actually helping or hurting the country of Colombia? Colombia today is in a major crisis. Guerrilla groups, approximately 20,000 guerrillas in arms and only 7,000 to 11,000 paramilitary members, control large areas of the countryside. The government has no legitimate monopoly of force and is extremely weak; it does not and cannot effectively protect its citizens. Colombia has been in tumult with the Marxist-Leninist group called FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) for almost fifty years. The FARC was founded in the 1960s, but its roots are found further back from the Violence. From 1948 to 1958, supporters of the Liberal and Conservative parties fought a civil war that killed some 200,000 people. The horrific violence of the period was only nominally about partisan politics. Mainly rural, Violence was an explosive expression of peasant complaints and local conflicts. Weak government authority in many areas led to armed self-defense groups of various ideological stripes. These same factors, along with others fueled revenues provided by drug trafficking, being fundamental to understanding contemporary violence in Colombia. The FARC was designed to serve as a military wing of the Communist Party of Colombia after the federal government began attacking communists’ small rural communities over a period known as "La Violencia.” However, the FARC has done nothing but damage the entire Colombian population. Records show that the FARC participated in about 5,000 deaths in 2002, two thirds of them from innocent civilians. The FARC has not gone after only government officials, but also innocent people who may have nothing to do with the government. How can an organization that says they advocate for the "people,” tend to kill so many guiltless citizens? From that came the FARC, this has made Colombia one of the most violent countries in Latin America. The FARC is the oldest guerrilla army in Latin America and is also the largest and most important in Colombia. This rebel group emerged in the Colombian Communist Party and radical liberalism at the end of the first violence. The FARC was then a real peasant movement, a response to the government violence and military repression in the 1960s and 1970s; the FARC puts force in remote rural areas with virtually no presence in the state. What happened was that these areas were suitable coca farming and in the early 1980’s with an economy expanding internationally in drugs, farmers in these areas began raising Coca commercially.. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (FARC or FARC-EP) is one of the rebellion groups with more survivors worldwide. “The rebels worked tirelessly to overthrow the government of Colombia since 1964.” The group began as many socialist groups did against the government at the time, in the shadow of Cuba Fidel. Antiquity of the FARC, however, is unalike from most of the rebellious groups because of their prolonged existence and ability to survive. Their flexibility permitted them to stay vigorous and adapt to environmental changes. Given that Colombia remains a global producer of cocaine, the FARC is the largest producer; the eradication of this group is a great responsibility to the world community. Beauty in the eyes of the beholder, or hate in the hearts of the citizens, what began as a people’s army fighting against capital-imperialism, became a guerrilla force that threatens the very people it originally sought to protect, earning their peoples hate. Nevertheless, how can an organization fail so miserably at becoming freedom fighters with a five-decade existence? The FARC hold a political perspective of agrarianism and anti-imperialism inspired by Bolivarianism. Their initial goal was to overthrow the government with intentions of installing their political ideologies, but after failing one too, many times the FARC quit. In the late 1990’s they attempted to share peace with their fellow man but after the United States funded Colombia five-billion dollars in military aid to annihilate the FARC, they decide to continue their rebellious ways. The corrupt FARC not only serves as a drug trafficking militia in Colombia, but also serve as a threat to the country, and its people. The 7,000 FARC soldiers are currently holding off the 300,000 Colombian troops with their secret weapon “landmines”. Landmines, otherwise known as explosives bombs hidden under the grounds surface, can be found all across Colombia, especially in the country’s three mountain ranges, and dense jungles, where the guerrillas like to hideout. Triggered by being stepped on, mines have harmed more civilians than soldiers. These Landmines are found near schools, and common walk trails. Farmers, and ranchers are usually the most common victims. The FARC no longer hold the audacity to confront the soldiers, or government, but they stick to the cheap and effective tactic of landmines. Knowing the harm, and grief that the FARCs bring upon society, they continue to do so ensuing a belief that the government would give in, and give up allowing the FARCs to prosper. Their money is funded through their drug trafficking business, and protection of drug smugglers, which earns them 1.3 billion dollars a year, alongside the money that they generate through kidnap and ransom. Freedom fighters are those who hold certain crave to achieve a political goal in a violent struggle to overthrow their government for justice or the greater good of their people. A quintessential example of so is the theoretical ideology that influences the childhood tale of Robin Hood, one who would steal from the rich and give to the poor, in the struggle to ensure those in need can carry out a decent life. Even though stealing is frowned upon and perceived wrong in any society, Robin Hood receives respect for his intentions, when put into juxtaposition with the FARCs, one can simply realize that FARCs are nowhere near such a prestigious category, when all they do is way more harm than good. Freedom Fighters, or Terrorists? Beauty in the eyes of the beholder, but remember hate in the hearts of the citizens.

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Work Cited
Bruce M. Bagley and William O. Walker III, eds., Drug Trafficking in the Americas (Boulder, Col.: Lynne Rienner, 1996).

FARC–EP, FARC–EP Historical Outline (Toronto: International Commission, 2000), 26

"Freedom fighter Def. Merriam Webster Online”, Merriam Webster, n.d. Web. 24 November. 2013. < http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/freedom%20fighter>

“Guerrillas Step Up Attacks in Colombia Violence: The rebel groups, excluded from the constitutional debate, are spreading terror in the capital.” Los Angeles Times, 7 February 1991, pg. 21. ProQuest document ID: 61043337.

Human Rights Watch, The Ties that Bind: Colombia and Military-Paramilitary Links (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2000).

Jorge P. Osterling, "Violence, Terrorism, and Guerrilla Warfare in the Mid 1980s," Democracy in Colombia: Clientelist Politics and Guerrilla Warfare, (New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 1988):295.

Nader, Paul S.. "Former Members’ Perspectives are Key to Impacting the FARC." Journal of Strategic Security 6, no. 1 (2013): 73-83.

Scott Wilson, “Colombia’s Rebel Zone: World Apart,” October 18, 2003, <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/world/issues/colombiareport/.>

"Terrorist Def. Merriam Webster Online, Merriam Webster, n.d. Web. 24 November. 2013. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrorism>

What Kind of War for Colombia? Julia E. Sweig. Foreign Affairs. Vol. 81, No. 5 (Sep. - Oct., 2002), pp. 122-141. Published by: Council on Foreign Relations <http://www.jstor.org/stable/20033273>

William J. Pomeroy, Guerrilla Warfare and Marxism (New York: International Publishers, 1968), 313.

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[ 1 ]. "Terrorist Def. Merriam Webster Online, Merriam Webster, n.d. Web. 24 November. 2013. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrorism
[ 2 ]. "Freedom fighter Def. Merriam Webster Online, Merriam Webster, n.d. Web. 24 November. 2013. < http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/freedom%20fighter>
[ 3 ]. “Guerrillas Step Up Attacks in Colombia Violence: The rebel groups, excluded from the constitutional debate, are spreading terror in the capital.” Los Angeles Times, 7 February 1991, pg. 21. ProQuest document ID: 61043337.
[ 4 ]. William J. Pomeroy, Guerrilla Warfare and Marxism (New York: International Publishers, 1968), 313.
[ 5 ]. FARC–EP, FARC–EP Historical Outline (Toronto: International Commission, 2000), 26
[ 6 ]. Scott Wilson, “Colombia’s Rebel Zone: World Apart,” October 18, 2003, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/world/issues/colombiareport/.
[ 7 ]. Nader, Paul S.. "Former Members’ Perspectives are Key to Impacting the FARC." Journal of Strategic Security 6, no. 1 (2013): 73-83.
[ 8 ]. William J. Pomeroy
[ 9 ]. Human Rights Watch, The Ties that Bind: Colombia and Military-Paramilitary Links (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2000).
[ 10 ]. FARC–EP, FARC–EP Historical Outline
[ 11 ]. FARC–EP Historical Outline
[ 12 ]. Bruce M. Bagley and William O. Walker III, eds., Drug Trafficking in the Americas (Boulder, Col.: Lynne Rienner, 1996).
[ 13 ]. Jorge P. Osterling, "Violence, Terrorism, and Guerrilla Warfare in the Mid 1980s," Democracy in Colombia: Clientelist Politics and Guerrilla Warfare, (New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 1988):295.
[ 14 ]. This date is debated among scholars as the FARC claims inception in 1964, the date of Operation MARQUETALIA, although they did not organize themselves as the FARC until 1966 during the Second Guerilla Conference.
[ 15 ]. What Kind of War for Colombia? Julia E. Sweig. Foreign Affairs. Vol. 81, No. 5 (Sep. - Oct., 2002), pp. 122-141. Published by: Council on Foreign Relations
[ 16 ]. Tony Dunnell, "Origins of FARC in Colombian Guerrilla History," Latin American History at Suite 101, September 22, 2009, GlamEntertainment, http://tonydunnell.suite101.com/origins-of-farc-in-colombian-guerrilla-history-a151619; Simon Romero, "Manuel Marul
[ 17 ]. Jorge P. Osterling, "Violence, Terrorism, and Guerrilla Warfare in the Mid 1980s," Democracy in Colombia: Clientelist Politics and Guerrilla Warfare, (New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 1988):295.
[ 18 ]. http://www.economist.com/node/18928504
[ 19 ]. “Guerrillas Step Up Attacks in Colombia Violence”…...

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