FARC – Rebels with a Cause?

According to Washington’s somewhat loose definition of a “terrorist” organization, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the FARC, is one of the strongest and most notorious guerrilla organizations in Latin America. Members of the FARC are often described as delinquent insurgents who have lost all personal and institutional ethical boundaries and continuously engorge themselves in a wide range of criminal activities. However, there is more to the organization than drug running and kidnappings.

The FARC has been able to sustain itself for almost fifty years and, though its membership has dramatically fluctuated in recent years, it shows no sign of collapsing anytime soon. Unlike many other “terrorist” groups elsewhere in Latin America, the FARC has been able to integrate itself, at least to a degree, as a significant component of its country’s formal economy on both the national and international stage. In fact, it is a vital part of Colombia’s society and, to at least some Colombians, a symbol of opportunity and security.

The FARC Methods

While without question the FARC’s reputation is on the heavy side, the group is more than just a concentration of power hungry individuals. For decades, the organization’s high command has addressed such basic issues as unemployment and alternative crop development in its episodic peace talks with Colombian authorities. To some observers, the organization is, in its simplest form, a peasant uprising. Alfred Molano, a Colombian student of oral history, states that it is one of the only remaining champions of the Colombian peasantry. The organization fights for legitimate grievances yet engages in forms of random violence. The FARC leadership also feels the effects of being pushed aside by both the government and the international community, just as the people for whom they fight do.

The FARC is often criticized for its involvement in the coca industry. While coca is a convenient way for the rebels to finance their missions, it is also the only viable crop for many otherwise destitute farmers in the country. These farmers do not receive anything but meager benefits from the Colombian government, and like many others in especially impoverished areas of the country, the FARC represents the only pseudo-government system with which the local residents have any contact. Moreover, although the FARC is involved in a number of illegal enterprises, these same activities are acknowledged as a driving force of the Colombian economy.

The FARC requires that all of its members live according to the same socioeconomic principles that it endorses for the rest of society. Rather than living glamorous lives, the FARC combatants mainly eat whatever food peasants can supply them with, such as yucca, bananas, corn, and peas. The combatants are given no material incentives and receive no fixed salary. Rather, they are rewarded in other tangible ways. If a combatant proves to be a good fighter, then he or she will be promoted in the ranks or put at the front of a unit. In other cases, combatants can be awarded with special training in various functions. Furthermore, the FARC allocates part of its funds on a social security system that affords retired guerrillas a pension as well as some form of economic support to fighters’ families. The FARC also provides medical treatment to those who have been wounded in combat. In general, the combatants are well fed and provided with enough necessities to live a decent life. Because of this, morale is relatively high among the FARC combatants, with relatively few individual desertions, even though the FARC requires a life of militancy.

Once they become members of the FARC, fighters must take on specific war names and no longer use their old identities. The FARC adheres strictly to its political ideology, and these nom de plumes are intended to evoke a particular spirit within the combatant of their being part of a larger movement. Their battle names also mask the real identity of the combatants in case they are captured. Moreover, participation in the FARC is completely voluntary. Its leaders have consistently opposed to forced recruitment, believing that such tactics would hurt the organization more than it would help. For some, the FARC is a way of starting over and adopting a completely new lifestyle, one that often has a distinct purpose in mind.

For example, while the FARC does not have any specific rules prohibiting pregnancy or personal relationships, any action that would deter combatants from fulfilling their duties is not allowed. Obedience to the overall cause is highly valued and comes before anything else. Because pregnancy may inhibit women from being able to fight alongside other rebel militants, it is heavily frowned upon. Women are often persuaded to use contraceptives or other methods to prevent pregnancy. In extreme situations, women have even been ordered to leave their children behind because their motherly duties would interfere with obligations to the group. As for these personal relationships, there are certain rules that must be followed. For women, relationships are only allowed with men within the organization. Men, on the other hand, are permitted to have relationships with women both inside and outside the FARC. For both men and women, personal relationships are not allowed to interfere with institutional responsibilities. While these expectations may be considered as being extreme, many join the FARC in spite of them because of the better lifestyle and sense of stability the organization offers compared to the alternatives readily available.

Use of Child Soldiers

Many criticize the FARC for its extensive use of child soldiers. According to a UN report, the children are used “in hostilities, to recruit other children, act as spies in order to gather intelligence, serve as sex slaves, and provide logistics support.” The FARC members sometimes visit schools in western Brazil’s Cauca department to recruit children. Moreover, at times, armed groups will also travel to both private and public universities in search of new inductees. As involuntary recruitment is not permitted, the child soldiers must join voluntarily. Many see joining the FARC as a guarantee of life-long employment and income. Particularly for those living in extremely poor areas of the country, becoming a guerrilla fighter can be a more attractive option than other alternatives. For some, the FARC provides a way to escape from a dead-end life.

Although the idea of the FARC may be attractive to these children theoretically, the reality of life in the group often does not live up to those expectations. A UNICEF representative in Colombia notes “as soon as the girls are recruited for the groups, they are used sexually and are forced to have abortions if they become pregnant.” Although the FARC itself has severe consequences for members who commit these acts, this does not mean that the young women of the group are not at heavy risk.

Role of Women

The FARC has a substantial number of female guerrilla fighters and continues to attract them in relatively large numbers. Currently, women constitute as much as 40% of the group’s combat force. Women fight alongside men and endure the same hardships. The FARC’s internal regulations state that women are equal to men and can participate in all military operations. They perform guard duty, patrol, gather intelligence, take on combat assignments and also serve logistical purposes. They are not given any leeway during training and are expected to be able to complete the same tasks as men. Women also operate as spies, gathering intelligence or infiltrating government buildings and police stations. They are able to disguise themselves as maids or prostitutes; and, in this manner, they are able to gain access to certain intelligence information without arousing the same kind of suspicion as men.

Despite all the contributions women make, they are still underrepresented in the highest levels of command. However, the women of the FARC claim that this is because of the recent surge in female membership. In the 1990s, there were only a handful of females; now women make up nearly half of its cadres. Because of this, there is a large pool of female junior members who have not served long enough to be promoted.

For female combatants, the FARC represents a chance to escape oppression. The reason many women choose to join the FARC instead of opting for a more traditional kind of life is because of the relatively high funds and the agreeable living standards that the FARC offers. Money is a means of obtaining power and a better life, and the FARC provides many women with this option. Within Colombian society, women routinely face class oppression, impoverishment, male sexual domination, and marginalization. Many of the FARC women come from poor areas and see no clear way of improving their lives. Women will also frequently earn significantly less money than men in Colombian society and have a much higher rate of illiteracy. These facts, combined with the rural traditions that reject education for women, provide additional incentive to join the FARC. The FARC gives women the opportunity to earn money and gain a status within society that they otherwise might not occupy.

Women also turn to the FARC to escape domestic abuse, boredom at home, and exploitation by their parents. Besides providing food and shelter, the rebel group is likely to give Colombian women new skills and a sense of self-confidence. Women in the group may feel empowered by their liberation as a result of their elevated status. Joining the FARC becomes an act of protest, a statement against the lifestyle they otherwise would have been forced to accept. It is an alternative way of life for Colombian women, one that seems very appealing against the backdrop of abuse and hopelessness.

Moreover, other Colombian paramilitary groups are known for raping, murdering, and mutilating women, all of which the FARC offers protection from. The FARC has a zero tolerance policy towards rape and executes men who commit the act, providing a relative sense of security to female members. Women in the rebel group are also taught how to fight and protect themselves. Joining the FARC can be a way to escape the fear that these women would otherwise have to live with daily.

Drug and Criminal Activities

The FARC is notorious for its criminal activities, most notably kidnapping, extortion, and participating in drug trafficking. According to the Joint Intelligence Committee of Colombia, in 2003 the marketing of cocaine hydrochloride accounted for 45.49% of the FARC’s total income, while extortion made up 41.31%, kidnapping 6.75%, investment output 3.04%, and cattle theft 1.39%. The estimated total amount earned that year from trafficking cocaine hydrochloride alone was 600 million USD. However, the FARC insists that it does not participate in drug trafficking, claiming that the only ties it has to the industry are the taxes collected from the commercialization of coca.

The FARC is not a drug cartel in the strictest sense; rather, it has an established tax system covering every phase of the drug industry. Any supplies needed in the commercialization of drug trafficking must go through the FARC-controlled posts, which have fixed taxes for each ton or gallon of cement, gasoline, sulfuric acid, and other raw materials. Cultivators of coca who have more than four hectares of land must pay a percentage of profits from its growth to the FARC, and processors must pay certain fees based on the weight of the coca paste or cocaine.

There are also taxes for moving the drugs out of the area regardless of the transportation method: plane, boat, or road. However, according to Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, the FARC has now graduated from collecting taxes to becoming an actual merchant. The guerrilla group now buys basic paste from producers and sells it to more integrated vendors for a profit.

The FARC is also heavily involved in extortion. The majority of participants, such as local government officials, private groups and members of civic organizations, who encounter the FARC’s methods are inclined to give in to the group’s pressure and terror tactics and pay a fixed annual amount or a variable amount depending on sales and production. There is also extortion of the ranching and agricultural sector, which depends on the patrimony, size, and productivity of the land as well as the owner’s degree of cooperation with the local guerrilla fighters. However, the FARC also provides some useful services to the farmers it takes money from. The organization will protect the property against cattle theft, land invaders, and other extortionists and common thieves.

Besides drug trafficking and extortion, the FARC executes a significant number of kidnappings in Colombia. It is important to note, however, that nearly half of the world’s kidnappings take place in Colombia, and the FARC or the National Liberation Army (ELN) are responsible for almost half of those. Kidnapping methods have become highly systemized, and the FARC has trained experts for every stage of the process. The guerrilla group also has highly advanced communication equipment, which can be used to access privileged information from official entities. This gives the FARC the ability to construct a detailed database that can be used to carry out both individual and collective kidnappings. The FARC charges an average ransom of 100,000 USD for its Colombian victims, while the ransom for foreigners can be fifteen times higher. Nearly every one in five of its victims is a foreigner.

The FARC and Society

Although the FARC has never garnered much foreign economic support, the group’s income continues to grow. The insurgents have managed to establish a broad-based underground economy, which invests in illegal, informal as well as formal markets. Moreover, globalization has helped the FARC with many of its operations, allowing resources to circulate faster and connecting them to foreign markets. Despite the various changes in Colombia’s economy and markets, the FARC has managed to successfully adapt to the structural changes and to create its own direct ties with international markets. As a result, the FARC has been able to make itself a significant component of the Colombian economy and a complete withdrawal would almost certainly devastate various sectors.

In many parts of Colombia, most notably the areas near the Amazon, the FARC almost functions as the government. The inhabitants of these areas have no other option but to rely on the FARC and to continue supporting its operations. Many of these areas have been forgotten by the central government and have low population densities. It has become extremely difficult for the Colombian government to assert its leverage in some of these remote places on a government-to-government basis because the locals here have developed a working alliance with the FARC. Any social benefits that these people receive are from the FARC, rather than a state institution. Oftentimes, the only state presence available is a small local police force that is powerless compared to the FARC’s much stronger local installation. In Cartagena del Chairá, a village in Caquetá in southern Colombia, a peasant came forth with the revealing observation: “everybody has grown up with the idea of the authority of the guerrillas. Another generation that recognizes the authority of the Army has yet to come.” In various parts of the country, it is a fact of life that the government has yet to definitively break the allegiance between the FARC and the local communities.

While the FARC provides a number of social benefits and the protection of local populations, it also demands something in return. Every corporation that operates in the region must pay an extortion fee. Even the public sector is not exempt from these fees; the FARC manipulates local institutions to obtain leverage over municipalities. The guerrilla group may decide where public funds end up and which private companies are allowed to do business in certain areas. Of course, the FARC’s involvement in the drug economy creates insecurity in the area. However, at the same time, the drug trade is one of the only viable means of income available to the guerrilla groups, even though such areas barely possess any infrastructure and already feature crushing unemployment.

The FARC’s Ongoing Battle

Because of the various controls that the FARC has established within Colombia and the dependency both civilian authorities and the formal economy have on the group, the FARC has established relatively strong roots within society, which give it a certain amount of leverage. Its presence is hard to ignore, not only because of its role in the domestic economy, but also because of its de facto control over entire areas and, ultimately its partial integration into the international economy. The FARC also has established itself as a symbol of modest hope in many places, creating incentives for marginalized sectors of society to join the fight. Although joining the FARC may not seem like an ideal solution, it may be the only option for some people to pursue a new lifestyle and to escape poverty and provide even rudimentary living standards. While much of what the FARC does is far from admirable, its vivid presence also highlights the larger chronic problems within Colombian society, which the government has yet to resolve.

19 thoughts on “FARC – Rebels with a Cause?

  • July 7, 2010 at 12:38 am
    Permalink

    This is unfortunately a rather naive view of the FARC, a view that they consistently attempt to promote abroad through news outlets like ANNCOL. They are linked to acts such as extortion and kidnapping, but were also responsible for various car bombings, kidnappings and murders of elected officials (including a governor last year) and punitive raids against the people they claim to defend. FARC is simply a dead-end violent movement that is currently diminishing in size and effectiveness because–in addition to more a slowly rising standard of living—Colombians are simply tired of their viciousness. The tales told by defectors from FARC and ELN surely don't paint the guerrilla movement as a bastion of equality, indeed the length of time spent out in the boondocks and the distance from any kind of oversight breed petty tyrants and murderers among commanders who often enforce loyalty through fear and violence instead of the esprit de corps that it so bafflingly-mentioned in this piece. I don't believe that "far from admirable" even remotely describes what the FARC does. "Brutal and reprehensible" is a far more apt description of this movement that is simply a criminal enterprise built on the backs of those footsoldiers unfortunate enough to become tangled in its web.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2010 at 8:16 am
    Permalink

    This document is a distorted portrayal of this group. It is very unfortunate that so serious an entity has been paid to provide a forum to a group of criminals. It would be healthy for the readers of this important means of communication to verify the accuracy of the information that the author is proposing. The author tries to say that all crimes of this drug trafficking organization have a justification. With the same logic Al-Qaeda has every right to have done what he did on 11 September.

    Reply
    • November 17, 2011 at 12:31 am
      Permalink

      suggestion, do a little more research and investigation before comparing the FARC with an organization that is fictitious.

      Reply
  • July 7, 2010 at 3:48 pm
    Permalink

    I'm not sure what "cause" you attribute to the FARC. The article discusses many of the despicable practices in which the FARC take part and never really attributes any positive results to the group. You repeatedly mention that people join in hopes of a better future, but show that this is clearly not the case. The FARC have denied time and time again opportunities to integrate themselves into Colombian society and put down their arms the way other insurgency groups in that nation did in the past. While we could go into a long philosophical debate about if/when violence against a state is necessary, how could one want to justify or even excuse the intolerable behavior of the FARC? In my opinion, they have shed all hints of a once-existent ideology, obstinately holding on to antisystemic and intolerably violent methods out of habit. Furthermore, they have terrorized the nation, lost support among almost the entire country, further radicalized the left-right political environment (actors like the FARC make it hard for the existence of a reasonable left), and have actually lost a great deal of membership in the past ten years. I don't think it is a stretch to call them a terrorist organization, as misapplied and overused as that label may sometimes be.

    I fear that some at COHA may let their ideological preferences obstruct their ability to see what is right and acceptable in the post-Cold War era.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2010 at 4:04 pm
    Permalink

    @Alfredo
    "The tales told by defectors from FARC and ELN surely don't paint the guerrilla movement as a bastion of equality"

    … do you expect defectors of any group to have nice things to say about the organization they bailed out of? It would seem to me that you're the one who is looking at only one side of the issue.

    I actually thought this article was pretty fair in addressing the goods and the bads of the FARC. The author mentions that the FARC plays an important role for providing services to many peasants living in rural areas where there is very little state-presence, but also mentions that it has been known to commit human rights violations not to mention funding itself through extortion and kidnappings. How much more balanced can you get? The Colombian government is also notorious for committing human rights violations, for violation civil liberties (DAS scandal), for embezzlement/corruption, and for numerous politicians tied to the drug industry.

    I think this a fair and excellent article.

    Reply
    • July 7, 2010 at 4:53 pm
      Permalink

      Defectors always tell tales that are exaggerated, but by your logic, the stories told by defectors from any brutal movement should be dismissed as fabrications. Just saying "but the government does it too"doesn't make it right. On the contrary, you are seeing what you want to see in a movement that is essentially dragging Colombia down with it instead of seeking compromise toward a better future. It's like the Cold War never ended for some fools in this world, and the FARC is clearly among those.

      Reply
  • July 7, 2010 at 4:23 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks you for this report! While there were some inaccuracies and misunderstandings in the article, it shows a real attempt to look at the FARC in the context it arose out of: massive campaigns of genocide carried out (and continuing to be carried out) against rural communities by the US sponsored Colombian military/paramilitary alliance. That alliance is responsible for 80% of political violence in Colombia and is in service to transnational corporate sponsors.

    Right now there is nothing more important for the US based Colombia solidarity movement to do than to recognize that a meaningful peace can only be achieved through dialogue and broad negotiations with all major parties at the table. There can be no such peace without dialogue with the FARC. Those who say otherwise are, either wittingly or unwittingly, giving ideological support to the military only solution. Programs like the US originated "integrated action" plan are not about peace, but pacification and subjugation. That plan does nothing at all to return land to the displaced or to squelch the gains of the neoliberals and transnationals. A just peace cannot be reached without dialogue, a humanitarian exchange of prisoners, agrarian reform and an open and safe electoral process. It pays for those who blanketly condemn the FARC to remember that every time they've entered into a peace process, it has been sabotaged by the US and Colombian militaries and/or governments.

    There were some inaccuracies in this piece, and I would strongly recommend that anyone seeking to understand the FARC should read Prof. James Brittain's book, Revolutionary Social Change in Colombia: The Origin and Direction of the FARC-.EP. The book is heavily and studiously footnoted so as to back up the facts and figures and analysis it presents. It is simply indispensible and the best and most recent source of information on this subject.

    I did want to respond to one thing, the section about child soldiers. I think the idea of children fighting in war is horrible. However, I got to visit in a Colombian women's prison and one of the prisoners was a young woman in her early 20s sentenced to some 20 years in prison for being a FARC combatant. She told me she joined the FARC when she was 13. However, according to her, she had seen so many of her family and friends killed and run off one by one by the military and paras, with so little left in terms of her own livelihood and support, that joining the FARC was the best decision she could make for her own safety, and carrying a gun at least gave her the ability to fight back if Paras came for her.

    We also visited rural communities and heard stories, watched videos and saw other evidence of how peasant children were being killed as false positives and/or disappeared en masse by the Paras and military. In my job with the Alliance for Global Justice, I receive alerts frequently detailing how children have been targeted and killed by the military/para alliance.

    I also heard a story related to me by another US solidarity activist about a 13 year old girl who wanted to join the FARC, but was rejected because of her young age. He told me that when the guerrillas returned, she had been killed by the paras.

    So–while the presence of child warriors is terrible, in some cases, it may be the "safest" choice a child feels that they have. My response to all this–the way I want to try and eliminate such terrible conditions–is to advocate for a real and inclusive peace process. Those who do not advocate for such dialogue and negotiations are, at best, idealists who have no grounding in reality and whose good intentions and calls for "Peace!" without substance ultimately serve the aggressors much better than the peace process.

    So, thank you, COHA, and thank you, Jeanie Gong, for taking a step in the right direction with this piece. I know you're going to get a lot of flak for this. That's okay. That's something you have to get used to when you take stands that challenge the status quo and the complacency not only of the "powers that be", but of well meaning activists who think they are informed but, woefully, are not.

    Reply
    • July 11, 2010 at 2:05 am
      Permalink

      How delightfully ignorant of you to make all of those claims about an organization comprised of drug barons, rapists, kidnappers, and theives.
      You want negotiation? What happened during Pastrana's negotiation? They got their territory they wanted and just set up drug plantations throughout and continued to strike the infrastructure of Colombia, depriving innocent people of water and electricity in desperate acts of murder and sabotage. They brought nothing to the table, no negotiation, only delay tactics. They are just like North Korea. Keep delaying, keep delaying, stuck in this vicous cycle. Now they must regret that, when the negotiations went nowhere and they kidnapped more innocent people Uribe had enough and started kicking ass. 8 years later the FARC are truly on the run. Broken, their Army has been reduced to a shadow of what it once was. But they kept clinging on. clinging on until the end comes. and the end is coming soon.

      Reply
  • July 7, 2010 at 4:42 pm
    Permalink

    The scholarship strongly supports the view that the FARC is an organization much closer to Colombians (in truth and public service) than the government. The article is a much-needed and welcome dose of common sense.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2010 at 6:30 pm
    Permalink

    FARC lost its cause long time ago. For decades, civilians have witnessed the atrocities committed by the FARC. Civilians have been the victims of the armed conflict not the recipients of the insurgency’s social services. This is not a militia that the disenfranchised citizens join while searching for a “different life style” in the middle of a jungle. Indeed, most of the times children are abducted from their families, taken away and brainwashed for the purposes of serving an armed fight. In the same way, women are also sexually exploited.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2010 at 6:30 pm
    Permalink

    While some chose to be part of the conflict, some others did not have any other option. I suggest you go over the human rights violations of the FARC, the massacres, the assassinations, the extortion, the kidnappings, the bombs. Violence can't be justified or legitimized in the name of social justice. If you were a Colombian peasant, farmer, entrepreneur, student, or professional there, I bet you would consider this justification of the FARC as inadmissible. How do you think peasants and farmers have benefited from the conflict? They have been placed in the middle of the conflict, serving the interest of the drug dealers as well as the insurgency, while risking their lives, their jobs, and their security. If most Colombians were absolutely convinced of the good cause of the FARC, they would not have chosen Juan Manuel Santos as its new President. People chose to maintain the legacy of the Democratic Security Policy of Uribe, despite its failures and criticisms, in order to be safe of an insurgency movement that for decades have threatened the lives and well being of thousands of Colombians.

    Reply
  • July 12, 2010 at 7:21 am
    Permalink

    Revolution is no tea party. The demonization of the FARC by the Colombian right and liberals and conservatives abroad does not discredit the revolutionary movement's attempt to liberate the country from the chains of US imperialism. These facts are well known and accessible. Like all liberation movements, it involves an ideological struggle (as we can see here) as well as a politico-military one. The Bolsheviks too were bank robbers engaged in notorious 'criminal activities.' Love them or hate them but revolutionaries do what revolutionaries do. I love them because it is our only hope. Liberalism has failed and fascism is around the corner.

    In solidarity,

    Samantha.

    Reply
    • July 12, 2010 at 3:03 pm
      Permalink

      I hope you get to live through a real revolution someday and then tell us how hopeful it was. Retard.

      Reply
    • July 13, 2010 at 12:51 am
      Permalink

      "The demonization of the FARC by the Colombian right and liberals and conservatives abroad does not discredit the revolutionary movement's attempt to liberate the country from the chains of US imperialism. "

      No, but the methods they employ do indeed discredit their "revolution."

      Don't you think it's a bit ironic that their "revolution" that strives to "liberate the country from the chains of US imperialism" brought about a stronger U.S. presence and influence in the country?

      I think we're getting onto something here…. taking the most radical path only ostracizes and isolates the movement, further radicalizing you from the rest of the population and justifying such a "demonization." Didn't realize we demonize rapists, murderers, and thieves when we call them what they are: rapists, murderers, and thieves – not revolutionaries.

      Reply
    • July 14, 2010 at 3:18 am
      Permalink

      It astonishes me that people think anything good came out of Bolshevism, after Communism enslaved Eastern Europe, totally against their will, and caused millions more deaths.

      Colombia, for all its faults, has been one of the most stable democracies in Latin America. In fact, since independence there has only ever been one period of military rule, during La Violencia and then for half that time. Since 1958, it has had elected governments with each president actually completing a term. To be able to do this against the backdrop it has faced, is a remarkable achievement.

      Reply
  • July 17, 2010 at 1:14 am
    Permalink

    Wake up, little Suzeys. It's the scholarship that counts. 4.9 million people displaced. A world record for human rights and labour activists killed. Colombia is an ugly oligarchy. Call it by a sweeter name if you will. Uribe goes out as the "paramilitary president." That'll be his legacy.

    Reply
    • September 3, 2010 at 7:51 am
      Permalink

      Uribe's legacy is:
      A drop of 44% (from 28,837 to 16,140) in the number of homicides between 2002 and 2008; A drop of 85% (from 2,882 to 437) in the number of kidnappings between 2002 and 2008; Police presecne in all municipalities of the country (25% of them did not have police presence in 1995); nearly 12,000 guerrilla combatants demobilized between 2002 and 2008; a drop of 75% (from 680 to 169) in the number of victims of massacres between 2002 and 2008; 30,000 AUC combatants demobilized.
      But Uribe's legacy also includes the corruption scandals, the DAS scandal, and obviously the extra-judicial killings ("falsos positivos"). Also, new illlegal groups emerge from the demobilized AUC. But so far, they are far away from reaching the AUC dimensions.
      Nevertheless, in terms of security and (foreign) investments, I would qualify Uribe's presidency as a success. Santos now needs to work towards a consolidation of the newly gained security, further expand it, and also focus on social, equality, reparation, and economic issues. The fact that he is now in a position to deal with these issues is also part of Uribe's legacy.

      Reply
  • June 5, 2016 at 9:02 pm
    Permalink

    COHA it sounds like your saying the FARC is good

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *