The Future of FARC

From Ciudad Nueva courtesy of Mirada Global:

The announcement is a surprise, but not such a big surprise. The FARC will no longer get its funds through kidnapping civilians and it will liberate 10 policemen they’ve been holding since 1998 and 1999.


The announcement didn’t come as such a big surprise because the FARC are going through a phase of great weakness despite the intensification of their guerrilla actions. In these last times, after the natural death of its historical leader Manuel Marulanda (Tirofijo), the elimination of several other political and military chiefs, the loss of popular support and the desertions which have reduced its troops from 20 thousand to a current 9 thousand, the guerrillas have found themselves in increasing difficulties.

Colombia’s President, Juan Manuel Santos, sees it as a step in the right direction, but still unsatisfactory. In fact, in order to start peace negotiations, the government asks that the FARC not only ceases to kidnap civilians, but that it also liberates the rest of the hostages —between 150 and 300— they still hold captive, and stop all military operations. Without this, the regular army will continue its successful offensive that has been a severe blow to the communist guerrillas.

The FARC appear in 1964 as the military arm of the communist party. With time, the FARC was joined by the Ejército de Liberación Nacional and later still, the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, both of them linked to the paramilitary in the war against the State. The ones who have benefitted from this state of chaos and confrontation have undoubtedly been the omnipresent and omnipotent drug cartels.

Where does this gesture of the FARC lead to? In their present condition of weakness they are more likely to accept an honorable surrender than a peace negotiation, like the one attempted in1998-2002, under the administration of President Andrés Pastrana, and which would not be acceptable for the government. Perhaps the FARC’s announcement is the result of informal contacts which could be the first steps of the process by which the guerrilla could become a political group. This is by all means a better objective than the permanent conflict which has covered the country with blood for nearly half a century.

Also available in Spanish.

Tim Reidy


Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.


Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

An official wedding photo of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, center, in Windsor Castle, Windsor, England. Others in photo from left, back row, Jasper Dyer, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Doria Ragland, Prince William; center row, Brian Mulroney, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, Rylan Litt, John Mulroney; front row, Ivy Mulroney, Florence van Cutsem, Zalie Warren, Remi Litt. (Alexi Lubomirski/Kensington Palace via AP)
A poll found that 66 percent of the British public declared they were not interested in the Windsor wedding.
David StewartMay 23, 2018
God simply is a triad of love: a going out in love, a return in love and thus, ever more, love itself.
Terrance KleinMay 23, 2018
The leaders sent a letter to President Donald Trump, administration officials and members of Congress.
Altar servers lead a Palm Sunday procession March 25 in Youtong, in China's Hebei province. (CNS photo/Damir Sagolj, Reuters)
The pope appeared to be alluding to the fact that since February there has been a crackdown by the Chinese authorities on religion in the mainland.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 23, 2018