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The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC). Eric Benckert, David Castro, Noelia Marin, and Christina Martinez. FARC Background. Columbia's oldest and largest guerrilla group Established in 1966 as the military wing of the Columbian Communist Party (CCP)

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The revolutionary armed forces of columbia farc l.jpg
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC)

Eric Benckert, David Castro, Noelia Marin, and Christina Martinez

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FARC Background

  • Columbia's oldest and largest guerrilla group

  • Established in 1966 as the military wing of the Columbian Communist Party (CCP)

  • Broke from CCP and created the Clandestine Columbian Communist Party (CCCP)

  • Estimated 18,000-20,000 fighting members on at least 80 fronts throughout Columbia

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FARC Background Cont.

  • FARC is classified as a terrorist group by U.S. and European Union

  • Proclaimed itself a politico-military Marxist Leninist organization

  • Ideology in Marxist Bourgeois system

  • Claims to represent poor rural class against Columbia’s wealthy classes

  • Opposes U.S. influence/interference

  • FARC ultimate objective is an armed revolution in Columbia

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FARC Background Cont.

  • Majority of fighters come from poor rural background

    - 80% are peasants

  • Mostly uneducated

  • Most members join FARC for revolutionary adventurism and pay

  • FARC pays members $350 a month

    -Columbian Army pays $250

  • Majority of recruits are teens

    -male and female

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  • Eight Main Leaders

  • Seven of them make up the General Secretariat

  • Power positions range from Commander In Chief, to Commander of various military fronts within Columbia, providers of ideology, to spokespersons and members of the General Secretariat

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Manuel Marulanda Velez

  • a.k.a., “Sure Shot”

  • Birth name: Pedro Antonio Marin

  • FARC Founder and commander in chief

  • FARC Secretariat member

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Jorge Briceno Suarez

  • a.k.a., “Mono Jojoy”

  • Second in command of FARC

  • Commander of the Eastern Bloc

  • FARC Secretariat member

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German Briceno Suarez

  • a.k.a. “Grannobles”

  • Commander, 10th, 28th, 38th, 45th, and 56th fronts

  • Younger brother of Jorge Briceno Suarez

  • Notorious for his wickedness and disregard for life

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Guillermo Leon

  • a.k.a., “Alfonso Cano”

  • FARC’s chief ideologue

  • FARC Secretariat member

  • Leader of the Bolivarian Movement for a New Columbia

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Luis Eduardo Devia

  • a.k.a “Raul Reyes”

  • FARC Secretariat member

  • In Charge of finances and international policy

  • Serves as international spokesperson for FARC

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Rodrigo Londono

  • a.k.a. “Timoleon”

  • Approximately 41 years old

  • A physician by training

  • An avowed Marxist-Leninist

  • FARC Secretariat member

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Luciano Marin Arango

  • a.k.a, “Ivan Marquez”

  • FARC Secretariat member

  • University Educated

  • Commands FARC military units in the Northwestern Bloc

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Noel Matta Matta

  • a.k.a, “El Cucho”

  • FARC Secretariat member

  • Top arms buyer/dealer for FARC

  • Co-commander of the Northwestern Bloc

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Major Events

  • An entire dramatic leftist political party was

    eliminated by right wing Paramilitaries

  • In the last decade more than 200 bombs have

    been blown up in Columbian cities

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Major Events

  • Four presidential candidates

  • More than 200 judges

  • 1200 polices officers

  • More than 100 journalists

    More than 200,000 Columbian

    citizens have been murdered

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Major Events

  • April 17, 2001 a powerful car bomb detonated in a Columbian provincial capital killing at least 12 people and wounding more than 60

  • June 28, 2002 a catholic priest who was critical of leftist rebels was shot dead in front of a church where he had just performed a mass

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Major Events

  • FARC collects 400 million a year from the drug trade

  • FARC forcibly recruits teenagers

  • Their use of laptops at road blocks allows them to check the bank account of divers – giving them information allowing them to kidnap the richest

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Major Events

  • Recently killed the governor of Mr. Uribe’s home department of Antioquia a former defense minister who was kidnapped in April of 2002 while leading a march

  • In 2001 there was a prisoner swap in which 363 captives – police and soldiers – were exchanged for 15 jailed guerrilla members

  • Unfortunately this prisoner swap has encouraged more kidnappings of prominent politicians to use as bargaining chips

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Major Events

  • Fired mortar shells into crowd that was attending Columbia’s new president (Alvaro Uribe) inauguration - ended up killing 18 and injured 69

  • FARC has been involved in bombing, murder, mortar attacks, kidnapping, extortion, high jacking, guerilla and conventional military action against Columbia political, military plus economy targets.

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Major Events

  • In 1999, there were 25 evangelical pastors murdered

  • Guerrillas have forced some 300 evangelical churches to close

  • Averages of five people a day are kidnapped by guerrillas to finance their insurgence.

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  • Bombings, murder, mortar attacks, narcotic trafficking, kidnapping, extortion, hijacking, as well as guerrilla and conventional military action against Colombian political, military, and economic targets

  • Armed attacks against Colombian political and military targets. Many members pursue criminal activities, carrying out kidnappings for profit and bank robberies. Foreign citizens often are targets of FARC kidnappings. Group traffics in drugs and has well-documented ties to narcotic traffickers

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  • Boot,W.(2001). This is Not Vietnam. American Spectator, 32(2), 19-21.

  • Hudson, R. (1999). Who Becomes A Terrorist And Why: The 1999 Government Report On Profiling Terrorists. p. 155-164

  • MacHarg, K. (1999) Twenty-five Pastors Killled This Year. Christianity Today.

  • Martin, G. (2003). Understanding Terrorism challenges, perspectives, and issues. Thousand Oaks, CA. Sage Publications.

  • MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Database. (2006). Group Profile: Revolutionary Armed Forces Of Columbia. Retrieved February 14, 2006, from

  • Stratfor. (2006). World Terrorism Report: Hotspots. Retrieved February 18, 2006, from

  • United States Department of Defense www.State.Gov