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Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - Ejército del Pueblo

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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]


  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). 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. Retrieved April 7, 2007.
  13. "“Colombia’s rebels: A fading force?”". BBC News. February 1, 2008. Retrieved February 4, 2008.
  14. "Interview with FARC Commander Raul Reyes.". July 12, 2007.. Retrieved February 27, 2008.
  15. Leonard, Thomas M. (October 2005). Encyclopedia Of The Developing World. Routledge. p. 1362. ISBN 1-57958388-1 .
[[Category:Communist parties