Table of Contents
The origins of the Revolutionary Armed forces of Columbia can be traced back to the periods of La Violencia or simply the violence. This period was characterized by the assassination of a presidential candidate and a leader who was the sole fighter of people’s rights. The violence was a long and crucial battle that was sponsored by landowners as well as the miners whose main intention was to maintain a strong relationship between the church and the state (Brittain, 2010). More than two hundred thousand deaths were recorded during this period. This paper looks at the Revolutionary Armed forces of Columbia with relation to various ways the forces applied their force in the terror that had dominated in Columbia. The FARC is historically recognized as the oldest and the most influential Narcoterrrorist group in the Western Hemisphere, but what should not go unnoticed is they have been extremely successful at changing government policy by instilling fear (Bushnell, 1993).
Terrorist groups and other armed groups are used to the act of exploiting illicit markets to get money for their various activities. In other instances, they traffic illegal goods in order to get the money they want. They use this money to purchase ammunition and other things they would require. In such instances, the line between the political organizations and the criminal groups becomes unavailable. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) is among such groups. Paramilitary groups differ from FARC in the way they participate in the drug trade (Chomsky & Cuellar, 2005).
Landless locals in Columbia organized themselves in groups, in an effort to protect their won rights. They did this by tightening their self-defense as well as the formation of rural independent republics in which they fought the conservative peasants who continuously oppressed them. FARC is said to be a conglomeration of such republics. The people behind the oppressions were referred to as the paramilitaries who went round the country committing various atrocities with the support of the wealthy landowners as well as the miners. It is through these efforts that soldiers attacked the independent republicans by land and air and displaced them all the way to the mountains of southern Columbia. FARC is consisted of over two thousand two hundred men (Kline, 1995).
FARC and The National Liberal paper can be attributed o the various kidnappings that exist in Columbia today. They are also attributed to fifteen percent of the deaths that occur in Columbia yearly. Kidnappings and other violent activity have been the main characteristic of FARC because these are the ways through which they get their funding. Another major source of their funding is the drug trade in which they are all involved (Safford & Palacios, 2001). After their discovery of the various ways drug trade could help them get enough funds for their operations, they immediately began protecting drug cartels. All processes of drug trafficking today can be attributed to the FARC. This could the first case in the entire US for terrorists to be involved in drug trafficking. The exchange of cocaine for currency is among the various activities of the FARC.
Criminal Activities of FARC
The main source of FARC’s revenue is the involvement in illicit drug trade. However, various sources can be attributed to the wealth of the terror group. More than half of the FARC budget is based on the funds that are derived from the income from drug trafficking. Various attempts have been made by the government to investigate the way FARC acquire their finances (Leonard, 2005). This included the formation of a committee that was aimed at investigating their financial sources. Throughout to 2006, FARC have been involved in trades that are more than the drug trafficking. The involvement in more criminal activities with other criminal organizations such as the Latin-American groups, can clearly describe the nature and scope of the criminology of FARC.
FARC has been associated with organized crime I several occasions. They have done this to an extent of making it a terror group. They support their activities through crime and coercion and many other criminal activities that lead to their funding. This terror is sometimes directed to the government and other individuals who may seem to be potential sponsors for the group. This can clearly explain the difference between distinct criminals and other politically motivated uprisings. By raising their own money from their criminal activities, they are able to develop their internal alliances with other unlawful organizations. The leadership of FARC is based on the military ranking and the extent of violent politics (Leech, 2009).
Throughout their endeavors, the FARC has been involved in massacres and other violent activities against civilians. Most of their violence is directed towards the Columbia military people. Uncooperative civilians were terrorized and this led to the killings that raised alarm in the entire area. FARC had a long-term goal, which was to completely destroy the Columbian state as a whole and replace it with a FARC government that was easily controlled. Their move was to recruit a force of over thirty thousand soldiers that would be used to destroy the entire regular force in what they referred to as the final offensive move. This way, they would take over the government (Avilés, 2006).
FARC and Government
FARC and the government have been involved in various incidences of peace. The negotiations have been unsuccessful all through and this has created worries within the government. The first negotiation led to the rise of a new political party under the FARC. Numerous members of the party were killed and the party slowly died away. Today, various efforts have been put in place to help in helping the government to negotiate with the FARC with an attempt to reduce the killings as well as the drug trafficking activities in Columbia (Bushnell, 1993). This would be put into practice through the various policies that may come up after the inception of a strong point of agreement between the two arms.
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The case of FARC and the paramilitary groups is Columbia is a clear evidence of how political agenda as well as membership can limit other armed groups from emerging. These groups then later resolve to support themselves by seeking funds from criminal activities. When analyzing the criminal behavior of FARC, there is need to first look at the goals, their agenda, membership as well as their real actions that are evident from current studies.
Political Overview of FARC
The Columbian government has a view that if FARC weakens and dies out, the economy would improve and that there will be a state of peace in the whole country altogether. The recent call of the FARC to negotiate with the government about the resolution of the state of peace in Columbia could be a sign of their weakening power. However, many people have said that the forty six year old war cannot just end that easily. The recent call of FARC to negotiate with the Columbian government through the president (Manuel Santos) could a move that would completely deliver Columbia out of the troubles of insecurity and the various deaths that were occurring on daily basis (Safford & Palacios, 2001). The move could also be a result of the reduction of their numbers in which they are inefficiently performing their operations. This weakening of FARC can be attributed to the efforts of the soldiers in the government who have almost halved the number of the key players of the FARC.
Despite the scheduled talks, the willingness of the two arms to engage in talks, there have to be strict policies and conditions so that the objectives of the talks can still stand. The Columbian government suggested that the FARC lay down their arms before the beginning of the talks. This also included the release of child soldiers for the army and public declaration of the campaign (Brittain, 2010). However, the FRC demanded that the government should review the land reforms as well as the change in the Columbian military base. The link between the FARC and drug trafficking could be a move that would make the negotiations a bit difficult. This is because the government in trying to crack down the various cocaine traders in the country (Bushnell, 1993).
These conditions have brought a feeling of fear to the government because if the talks are unsuccessful, the in means that the forces will awaken and begin the journey of rejuvenation and finally become the strongest terror group in the United States. This means that the government has to improve its security arm and maintain the campaign throughout the country. The ultimate aim of these appeal and discussion was to oversee the rebirth of peace in Columbia as well as the rise of the high economic standards that would lead to the improvement of people’s rights and lives at large. The security policies were also aimed at making Columbia an attractive place for investors as well as a destination for many who are likely to contribute to the strength of Columbia as a country.
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The long term political outlook in Columbia is very stable in comparison to the neighboring governments. However there are several key challenges that are political in nature. In the next decade, these challenges are likely to be very evident in the Columbian government. With the hope of having a stable in economy in the next ten years, there has to be clear fight in the government to eliminate the political challenges that are the main source of the unrest that has been evident in the past (Avilés, 2006).
Inequality in terms of the income of citizens has been one of the things that have led to a large-scale marginalization of certain individuals within the Columbia as a country. According to the United Nations Development Programme, Columbia is the sixth most unequal country globally. This is after the ranking that placed Latin America on the top of the list (Leech, 2009). This can be dealt with through a special programme that will ensure that funds are spread all over the economy. However, with the forceful FARC, various markets have been manipulated by the forces through their sale of illicit drugs and thus becoming a monopoly within the market. All these are moves that have been undertaken by the government to tackle the issue of the FARC insecurity in the case of the economic development (Safford & Palacios, 2001).
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The Columbian government, with the help of the United States have tried to combat drug trafficking. However, the problem remains among the many problems that the country faces, and which are making their economy to be a very unstable one and unequal. Main currents in history reveal that FARC was a move to deal with the level of corruption within the Columbian government. The group was also formed with an aim of ending the inequality that was in the government and the country in general. As time went by, the ideologies of these groups changed and became what many have been fighting against in the recent past. FARC did not only betray the Columbian government, but also betrayed its own people (Chomsky & Cuellar, 2005). The objective of eradicating corruption and inequality turned out to be another nightmare that the public has regretted ever.
After the government proved difficult to tackle the issue of inequality, the FARC began using violence and kidnapping in order to achieve the inequality (Kline, 1995). The support they got from the locals made them very strong despite the killings in the early 1990s. However, all the Columbians have always blamed the government for the continuous actions of the FARC. This can be attributed to the slow action by the government it dealing with the groups. The needs of the poor have been put last due to various problems that have resulted from the slow activity of the government. The survival of FARC can be attributed to the lack of a sense of coherence within the Columbian government. Coherence is required in order to deal with the counter political movements that are subjecting its citizens to murder among other tribulations (Leonard, 2005). In reaction to this, the government funded many other paramilitary groups that were to eliminate the guerilla groups. This led to the killing of many innocent people that were suspected of being guerillas. They were tortured and eventually killed for what they were not (Bushnell, 1993).
Efforts from the government to eliminate the FARC have been a long journey without success. This is because the group has successfully instilled fear in the government to an extent that the government is almost giving up. This could be because the group fully understands the ill actions of the government that the government would not want exposed. This fear is responsible for the hesitation that the government has brought to the matter of the drug trafficking by the FARC (Bushnell, 1993).
The human rights record in the Columbian government is another matter that has brought attention to the human rights activists. The killings that were sponsored by the government led to the killing of many citizens who were suspected of being guerillas. The risk ratings of Columbia are very high and this makes it a very uncomfortable place to be (Chomsky & Cuellar, 2005).
The Armed Forces and Counternarcotics Operations
Efforts in Columbia that were purely aimed at eliminating the FARC completely from operation have brought great attention in the circles of protagonists. Fighting the drug traffickers was acceptable at that time but was against the FARC because they thought they were fighting for the people. Nevertheless, in real sense, they were terrorizing their own people. The drug traffickers were the main targets of this movement and this meant that the war was being fought in the urban centers only. These cities included Bogota and Cali. The police were the pioneers of these attacks. The relationship between the guerillas and the drug traffickers changed.
According to many people who have commented on the state of the Columbian war against narcotics, the move places the government under a huge disadvantage and leads to its military weakening. This means that in isolated regions, there is no government since the soldiers have been all killed and thus they do not exist in certain regions. Therefore, the legal economy cannot be developed further. The cultivation of illicit crops has made the guerillas to be financially powerful and thus they are able to attack places for whatever reason they may imagine (Leonard, 2005).
FARC was a political movement that was initially formed to deal with the political atrocities in Columbia. The various things that were targeted include the reduction of the levels of corruption was among the key issues that were addressed. The group the later turned against the state and its people at large. Terrorist groups and other armed groups are used to the act of exploiting illicit markets to get money for their various activities. FARC has been associated with organized crime I several occasions (Leech, 2009). They have done this to an extent of making it a terror group. Kidnappings and other violent activity have been the main characteristic of FARC because these are the ways through which they get their funding. Another major source of their funding is the drug trade in which they are all involved. FARC had a long-term goal, which was to completely destroy the Columbian state as a whole and replace it with a FARC government that was easily controlled. Inequality in terms of the income of citizens has been one of the things that have led to a large-scale marginalization of certain individuals within the Columbia as a country. According to the United Nations Development Programme, Columbia is the sixth most unequal country globally. This is after the ranking that placed Latin America on the top of the list. Ultimately, FARC is historically recognized as the oldest and the most influential Narcoterrrorist group in the Western Hemisphere. What should not go unnoticed is they have been extremely successful at changing government policy by instilling fear (Bushnell, 1993).
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