Created about 37 years ago by a small group of Columbian Indians who
felt that the course of the current Columbian government was moving in
the wrong direction as it increased its involvement with the US. They
felt that, combined, the forces of the two governments would eventually
cause were the extinction of their people and their way of life.
Although FARC has always been considered a violent faction by the government
of Columbia, they have always maintained that they are a peaceful group
only driven to violent means because of the government they fight against.
"We do not wage war for its own sake. Faithful to the marquetalian
ideals, every time the possibility to pursue different paths than those
of the confrontation has appeared, everything has been put in the service
of a political solution that would open the course toward reconciliation
and reconstruction and establish the basis of the New Colombia. But invariably
we have come up against the stubbornness and intransigence of a ruling
class that only thinks of making use of these spaces to get us to submit."
(Taken from FARC Homepage)
The situation, although always volatile, has become even more explosive
since the early 1990's. During this time, the US was pouring more money
then ever into Columbia under the auspices of stemming the drug flow coming
out of Columbia. FARC claims that a large portion of this money went into
training the Columbian military so they could eventually eradicate FARC.
The Columbian government maintains that the majority of FARC's income
comes from the sale of illegal drugs and any action against them is therefore
The situation calmed somewhat when, in early 1999, FARC was given about
20% of Columbian land as a 'safe haven' and show of good faith by the
Columbian government in the attempt to move peace talks forward. A demilitarized
zone was added may of 1999, but FARC was also given a deadline by which
the talks should be done and any land that FARC controlled would be turned
back over to Government control. Since then, through delays and halts
in the peace talks, the deadline has been repeatedly extended with the
last extension coming from Columbian President Andres Pastrana on October
7, 2001. To add even more to the fire, the FARC has been very active lately
(please read attached news articles) and is causing even more contention
within the government as well as with the general public about what to
do with FARC. As this situation is still developing, the Security Council
could play a key part in the outcome.