Colombia
(War Against Rebel Groups)

Lauren Arcolino - Purner (2) - 4 May 2015

Members of FARC

Overview

Since the early 1960's, there has been an ongoing war between the Colombian government and a rebel group known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). FARC is the largest and most well-known guerrilla group in Colombia, and dedicates its purpose to protesting against the government through acts of violence. This ongoing civil war (FARC guerrilla vs. Colombian military) has consisted of many attempted treaties between the group and the government, although the results have deemed that nothing will truly be peaceful between the two until every underlying issue reaches a compromise. Some of the most prominent issues regard land reform, political power, social inequality, the illegal drug trade, and the unfair treatment of innocent civilians. This war has caused the deaths of tens of thousands of people. Because of the horrific actions that have been carried out, FARC is considered a terrorist group by Europe and the United States. Although all of the detrimental assets of FARC are recognized, it has been hard for the Colombian government to get rid of them completely, since FARC receives a vast amount of funds from drug trafficking. In this sense, it is not considered a Just War because it lacks legitimate authority, is not the case of a last cause, does not have a strong probability of success, and because it does not include noncombatant immunity.

Protest against FARC

FARC Areas of Influence Map

Pike, John. "Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia." Global Security. Global Security, n.d. Web. 03 May 2015. <http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/para/farc.htm>.

The purple areas indicate the designated FARC zones.

Questions

  1. The main opponents are the Colombian government and the FARC (guerrilla group).
  2. Europe and the United States consider the FARC a terrorist group, but are not involved in the war. Rebel groups in other countries are involved with the FARC, including groups in Cuba, Iran, Ecuador, and Venezuela. Their areas of involvement vary from inhabiting "safe havens" to controlling a portion of drug trafficking activities.
  3. This conflict has been being conducted through typical guerrilla tactics, such as terrorizing citizens through raids, ambushes, warfare, and political kidnappings.
  4. The cause of this ongoing conflict has been produced from the FARC's want for power and control, and because the government has not complied to their requests and demands. Colombia has tried to stop their intense involvement with drug trafficking, and this has caused the rebel groups to retaliate. However, this was just the baseline of the many other issues that were recognized after the conflict was established.
  5. There have been many unsuccessful attempts at making peace between the government and FARC. For some intense issues, the leaders of Colombia have tried to reach out to the rebel groups to try to negotiate a peace treaty. While the leaders would discuss the issues at hand, the FARC would order a "cease fire," which seemed like a great way to spare lives while trying to reach a compromise at the same time. However, this order was not always carried out, and the attempts at a peace treaty have either been overlooked by the groups or too small to overcome the entire conflict. Although it is always a good idea to negotiate certain problems like this, it would be more effective to generate a larger meeting in order to find a solution to all of the problems at hand. This way, more may be accomplished, and the treaty would potentially have less of a chance of backfiring on the public.

Article Citation

Pike, John. "Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia." Global Security. Global Security, n.d. Web. 03 May 2015. <http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/para/farc.htm>.

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