The Emergence of FARC

Topics: Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Colombia, Álvaro Uribe Pages: 4 (1247 words) Published: November 6, 2008
The FARC was founded in 1966 by Manuel Marulanda Vélez--known by the nickname Sure Shot (Tirofijo)--and other members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Colombia (Partido Comunista de Colombia--PCC). The FARC emerged after years of internal conflict known as “La Violencia”; a period of civil unrest sparked by the assassination of presidential candidate Jorge Eliecer in 1948. In the late 1950’s, a power sharing agreement had been reached among the political parties that ended “La Violencia”. In the early 1960’s, Columbia, as well as other Latin American countries, witnessed a rise in leftist movements motivated by endemic poverty, social inequality and the success of the Cuban Revolution. At that time, the FARC embraced the PCC's Soviet-style Marxist-Leninist ideology. The early membership of the FARC consisted of communist ideologues as well as noncommunist peasants, many of whom had been active during “la violencia”. The FARC's stated goal is to overthrow the current democratic government of Colombia and replace it with a Communist government.1 They claim to represent the rural poor against Colombia’s wealthy classes and oppose American influence in Colombia (particularly Plan Colombia), the privatization of natural resources, multinational corporations, and rightist violence. FARC has shown a willingness to meet with the Columbian government but no agreement has managed to have any permanence. In May 1984, the government and the FARC signed La Uribe peace accords which permitted FARC to form a legitimate political party, the Unión Patriótica (UP). The UP party -- comprised of former guerrillas and Communists -- espoused anti-corruption policies, harsh penalties against narco-traffickers and progressive land and economic reforms. As the UP gained in popularity and political clout, they soon became the target of para-military right-wing death squads and drug cartels. Thousands of UP members and candidates have...
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