Guerrilla insurgency and insecurity in Colombia: the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia The political scene in Colombia has over the years been marred by conflicts between the government and revolutionary guerrilla movements…
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After independence, major political parties in Colombia started conflicting over who would rule Colombia and under what ideology. In 1958, a party known as the “National Front” assumed power in Colombia and concentrated such power in the hands of the elites. This meant that other parties, particularly communist parties were locked out of power. Consequently, there emerged a number of guerrilla movements to challenge the position of the National Front and to supposedly champion for the rights of the peasants and the sidelined people in society (Hudson, 2010). One of the most notable movements to arise at this time was the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Since then, the FARC has grown to become a national movement that engages the government supremacy battles and the control of Colombia. This paper aims to discuss the activities of the FARC and analyze how such activities have affected Colombia politically, socially, and economically. In addition, the paper will examine how the subsequent regimes in Colombia have responded to the threat posed by the activities of the FARC. Historical background The FARC is an extremist group in Colombia that has threatened the stability of the Latin American country for decades. A Marxist-Leninist guerrilla movement, the FARC was formed in 1964, after the government sent troops to the southern regions of Colombia to regain control over the area that was under communist control. Rabasa & Chalk (2001) state that during this operation, several communist rebels escaped and resurfaced in 1966 under the FARC movement. The major leaders of the guerilla movement included Manuel Marulanda and Jacobo Arenas (Atkins, 2004). The purpose of the movement was to ostensibly represent the poor people in Colombia, particularly the peasants who had been neglected by the ruling bourgeoisie. In addition, the FARC wanted to liberate Colombia from the political influence of the United States that was increasingly meddling in the internal affairs of Colombia. As a communist organization, the main aim of the FARC was to overthrow the democratic government in Colombia and reinstate a communist government. This means that the FARC, in these formative years was the militant wing of the Communist Party in Colombia. At this time, the FARC carried out minor attacks in the southern and central regions of Colombia (Maddaloni, 2009). Years after the formation of the FARC, the movement was seen to deviate from its original Marxist ideologies and take on more violent and questionable approaches towards destabilizing the government. Nevertheless, some of the founders of the movement, such as Manuel Marulanda, before his death in 2008, were strong adherents of Marxist teachings and continued to uphold these values within the organization. However, some factions of the FARC have over the years been engaging in activities outside the scope and ideology of Marxism. For example, the FARC has continually engaged in trafficking cocaine, series of kidnaps, and engaging in talks with the Colombian government. Just as the ideologies within FARC have changed, so have the main goals of the movement. Due to an increase in the number of revolutionary movements, the FARC increasingly became involved in fighting troops and paramilitary groups, while also engaging in drug trafficking in the 1990s. Essentially, the primary goal among FARC followers today is concerned with the territorial control of Colombia. The FARC aims to gain territorial and financial control within Colombia and dethrone
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5 Pages(1250 words)Research Paper
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