Colombia is a nation located at the northern tip of South America. Its landscape is marked by the Andes mountains, numerous coffee plantation, and rainforests. Colombia borders Panama to the northwest, Venezuela and Brazil to the East, Ecuador, and Peru to the south. Colombia has a population of approximately 47.12 million people, and the official language is Spanish. From the 1920s to date, Colombia has been facing serious problem dealing with rebels group that were formed to oppose the government. Civil conflict in Colombia has left over 5.7 million people displaced, 25,000 disappeared and as many as 220,000 dead over the last half of the century. Since its independence over two hundred years ago, Colombia has experienced some political violence( Peceny et al 2006).
It was in 2014, when the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), marked the 50th anniversary since it started its war against the Colombian government. It begun as a small group in 1964, the group grew particularly in the 1980s when it started the drug trade to finance its activities. The finance that it got from the drug trade boosted its power to form of militant that protected the rebel's property. When the FARC's military grew, it developed a political ambition which led to the formation of its political party, the Patriotic Union.
Guerrilla movement in Colombia started with the peasant farmers as early as the 1920s and 1930s. Indigenous and peasant workers who were exploited by the plantation owners teamed up and formed various groups. These groups were mostly found in rural areas of southern Tolima, Viota and the other parts of the country. The authorities responded by use of force to these groups; this led to the evolvement of an armed self-defense movement from these groups to protect themselves from mistreatment that they were experiencing from the government. The strategies of these groups of peasant workers were centrally driven by an ideology of communism. La Violencia is a period which begun like fifty years ago, during this period, many leaders of these groups were murdered including Jorge E. Gaitan. His killing led to extensive rural violence. During this period, the guerilla nuclei and peasant-defense group became the dominant communist parties, and these resulted in the crumbling of the labor movement party. In 1964, FARC declared its intention to use armed struggle as a political method to control the national power, Cilluffo, F.2000).
During the period; "La Violencia," The government forcefully displaced many people from their farm and put them under regular attack from government army. Due to these attacks, peasant farmers were forced to move to inhabitable areas such as foothills side of the Amazon department of Caqueta, Putumayo, Meta and Guaviare. The Armed peasant who later formed FARC, begun a process called " armed colonization. The use of this technology enabled them to control several productive areas.The armed conflict between Colombia government and FARC arose due to social, economic and economic factors in the country 65 years ago. FARC was fighting for equality through communism. They claimed to be fighting for the poor, provide social justice through communism to protect the people from government violence. On the other hand, the government claimed to be fighting for stability and order to protect the right and interest of its citizen.
FARC opposition was further strengthened by the exclusionary nature of the government system. Popular movement, grassroots groups, popular movement, and demonstrations were criminalized. The violence experienced in the 1950s was formally stopped which led to a creation of Nation Front. This was a power-sharing deal between the two parties. The agreement concentrated control of bureaucracies which prevented the expression of other political parties
Political and social support guerrillas grew further during the 1980s., by 1983, FARC had more than eighteen fronts and also had been nicknamed " the people's army. During its growth process, FARC experienced chronic tension on whether to develop to either military or political aspect of their operation. However, by 1990, It faced with another internal conflict that was brought by a number of factors. One of this factor was of its political influence in the drug trade as military forces were financed by drug traffickers found all over the country. Drug money corrupted most of the politicians in all parties.
The Colombian government has secured a good promising peace deal with FASC rebels. The government is determined to end a war that has destroyed the countries for many years, displacing millions and ten of thousands. In 2012 Colombian government and the FARC rebel rebel group announced that they had arrived at an agreement to end the armed conflict in Colombia. Humberto de la Calle, who was the government negotiator announced that the war is over.
The two sides; the government and the FARC rebel group made an agreed to negotiate which was to start in 2012. Fidel Castro started a communist revolution that motivated insurgencies all over the country. Ivan Marquez, who was a member of Congress settled on fighting with ideas and not with the weapon as was in the case before. The two negotiators described the agreement as a path that will create a more democratic society in the nation and end political violence. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos addressed the media, summarizing the agreement main point for Colombian citizen. He concluded and said that the day of suffering, tragedy and pain was over. The six key solutions arrived at this peace process included, Pardo, R. 2000).
To reduce land inequality and rural poverty which was one of the main causes of conflict.
2. Political participation
They agreed that the government should enable "fair and safe" involvement in politics for the FARC.
3. Illicit drugs
Assisting and enabling farmers to grow drugs
Formation of International Transitional Justice Tribunal as well as Truth Commission for the seven million victims.
5. End of ongoing conflicts
FARC to abandon their arms and measures to incorporate foot soldiers of the FARC in the society.
If the talks succeed the government should approve the deal and if it passes then the government should treat it as valid.
To sum it all, justice was the main fundamental issue that was discussed. Justice was the hardest square to circle in that the government still insisted that as per international obligation, no war crime could go unpunished. On the other hand, FARC refused to be punished leaving the matter hanging. Final agreement was reached that those convicted of major crime would face limitation on their freedom for eight years if they adhere to the tribunal rules and up to twenty-four years if they do not.
Despite the government holding several bilateral talks with the FARC, there is a fear that the FARC rebel group will change name its name and form a new political party. The situation may bring considerable challenges to the army who after many years of fighting with FARC rebels. Moreover, some questions were left unanswered during the peace treaty. Like for example, FARC has been controlling illegal economic for a very long time especially in the exportation of cocaine. The question is who will inherit the FARC illegal economies? Five most likely scenarios that are likely to occur can be.
The FARC rebel may split off from the rest of the organization and continue to control over the illegal business. This scenario is worrying as some of the FARC top leaders do not attend the peace process.
National Liberation Army (ELN) branch of FARC, is still active in many parts of the country. The worrying part is that ELN may absorb many members from FARC.
BACRIM( emerging mafia- style organizations) already have close ties with FARC through the delineation of territory, sales of cocaine. The relationship is much deeper in many cases because the two groups usually form a joint military training which spearheads the likely hood of top FARC leader joining BACRIM after the disbandment of FARC.
The Colombia government is still optimistic that the treaty will be successful, the government will need assistance from global peacekeeping bodies to resolve these conflicts ultimately. They have proven to be of a major helps to other countries who had faced the similar problem that Colombia government is facing. One of the major tools that peace builders has been using Is to offer rebel leaders position in the government. It is also important for Colombia government to allow the non-governmental organization to help resolve these conflicts. Finally, It is necessary for Colombia government not to label these organizations as terrorist groups. This is because any countries for example USA have a law against cooperation with terrorist groups hence hindering their participation.
Peceny, M., & Durnan, M. (2006). The FARC's best friend: US antidrug policies and the deepening of Colombia's civil war in the 1990s. Latin American politics and society, 48(2), 95-116.
Marks, T. (2002). Colombian army adaptation to FARC insurgency. ARMY WAR COLL STRATEGIC STUDIES INST CARLISLE BARRACKS PA.
Molano, A. (2000). The Evolution of the FARC: A guerrilla groups long history. NACLA Report on the Americas, 34(2), 23-31.
Pardo, R. (2000). Colombia's two-front war. Foreign Affairs, 64-73.
Cilluffo, F. (2000). The threat posed from the convergence of organized crime, drug trafficking, and terrorism. Testimony of the Deputy Director, Global Organized Crime Program, Director, Counterterrorism Task Force, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Washington (DC). to the US House Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime.
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