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FARC (or FARC-EP) is the abbreviation of Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - Ejército del Pueblo. This is the name of a guerrilla organisation operating in Colombia. The group says it has Marxist- Leninist roots. When the name of the group is translated into English, it usually reads Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army.

The government of Colombia,[1] the United States,[2] Canada[3] and the European Union[4][5] have classified the organisation as a terrorist group. Other countries, such as Ecuador,[6] Brazil,[7] Argentina,[8] Chile,[9] Cuba and Venezuela do not see the group as terrorist. They instead refer to the group as “insurgents”.[source?] Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, for example, publicly rejected this classification of terrorists in January of 2008. He called on Colombia and other world governments to recognize the guerrillas as a belligerent force. Chávez said that if they were recognised that way, they would then be obliged to stop kidnappings and terror acts in order to respect the Geneva Conventions.[10][11]

The FARC was established in the 1960s as the military wing of the Colombian Communist Party. The group started as a guerrilla movement. It became involved with trading illegal drugs during the 1980s.[12] This caused an official separation from the Communist Party and the formation of a political structure it calls the Clandestine Colombian Communist Party.[source?] The FARC-EP still claims to be a guerrilla movement. According to the Colombian government, FARC has an estimated 6,000-8,000 members in 2008, down from 16,000 in 2001.[13] Other estimates are higher, including up to 18,000 guerrillas, with the FARC themselves claiming in a 2007 interview that they have not been weakened.[14] The FARC-EP is present in 15-20 percent of Colombia’s territory. Most of them are in southeastern jungles and in plains at the base of the Andes mountains.[15]

In June 2016, the FARC signed a ceasefire accord with the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos in Havana. This accord was seen as a historic step to ending the war that has gone on for fifty years.[16] On 25 August 2016, the Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, announced that four years of negotiation had secured a peace deal with FARC and that a national referendum would take place on 2 October.[17] The referendum failed with 50.24% voting against.[18] The Colombian government and the FARC on November 24 signed a revised peace deal,[19] which the Colombian Congress approved on November 30.[20]

On 27 June 2017, FARC ceased to be an armed group, disarming itself and handing over its weapons to the United Nations.

References[change | change source]

  1. The Democratic government of Colombia define : "All the violent groups in Colombia are Terrorists": "Presidencia de la Republica de Colombia". 
  2. The United States Department of State includes the FARC-EP on its list of foreign terrorist organizations: U.S. Department of State – Comprehensive List of Terrorists and Groups Identified Under Executive Order 13224
  3. "Presidence of the Republic of Colombia – FARC, ELN and AUC in the list of terrorist groups of Canada". 
  4. European Union – FARC, ELN and AUC in the list of terrorist groups of E.U.
  5. Article 2(3) of Regulation (EC) No 2580/2001 [1]. Accessed February 20, 2008.
  6. "Ecuador ratifica FARC no son terroristas" (in Spanish). Aporre.org. Retrieved October 3, 2005. 
  7. "FARC: Colombia y Brasil en desacuerdo" (in Spanish). BBC Mundo. Retrieved February 20, 2003. 
  8. "Titanes en la Cumbre después de la batalla" (in Spanish). Martín Piqué, Pagina/12. Retrieved 8 March 2008. 
  9. "Titanes en la Cumbre después de la batalla" (in Spanish). Martín Piqué, Pagina/12. Retrieved 8 March 2008. 
  10. Chávez: Beligerancia a las FARC sólo bajo convenios de Ginebra
  11. Chávez proposal about the FARC creates deep analysis in Mexican press
  12. "Colombia’s most powerful rebels". BBC News. September 19, 2003. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1746777.stm. Retrieved April 7, 2007.
  13. "“Colombia’s rebels: A fading force?”". BBC News. February 1, 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7217817.stm. Retrieved February 4, 2008.
  14. "Interview with FARC Commander Raul Reyes.". Colombiajournal.org. July 12, 2007.. http://www.colombiajournal.org/colombia259.htm. Retrieved February 27, 2008.
  15. Leonard, Thomas M. (2005). Encyclopedia Of The Developing World. Routledge. p. 1362. ISBN 1-57958388-1.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  16. Brodinsky, Sybilla; Watts, Jonathan (23 June 2016). "Colombia and Farc rebels sign historic ceasefire deal to end 50-year conflict". The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/23/colombia-farc-rebel-ceasefire-agreement-havana. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  17. "Farc peace deal: rebels and Colombian government sign accord to end war". The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/24/colombia-government-farc-rebels-peace-deal-52-year-war.
  18. "Colombia referendum: Voters reject Farc peace deal". BBC. 
  19. "Colombia signs new peace deal with Farc". BBC News. 24 November 2016. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-38096179.
  20. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named congress_approves.