In light of the rescue of Íngrid Betancourt, a former Colombian presidential candidate, last week on July 2nd, DR2 (A Danish TV channel) showed a documentary about her political campaigning and following kidnapping by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC as they are better known. FARC are notorious for their kidnapping of thousands of people, and holding them for random or prisoner exchange.
I have read off and on about FARC, and after watching this documentary, I looked through a few more details. What I can already conclude, is that what they are is a big farce!
Their full name, in English, is Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army, OK, I got a big problem with the last part of this name. These guys are “a self-proclaimed Marxist-Leninist revolutionary guerrilla organization”, according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FARC), which does fall under the umbrella of socialism. There’s a nice quote, and I apologize in advance to the person who came up with it that I can’t credit them for it (Because I don’t know his/her name), “All communists are socialists, but not all socialists are communists”, which I am glad to say that I could not agree more with!
The reason I identify myself with socialism, is because I believe a country is it’s people, and a government is obligated to listen to the people, and represent their best interests. I also believe, that socialism must go together with a true democracy (I think the democracy we have here in Denmark is one of the best in the world, certainly not perfect, but nonetheless one of the best ones) to fullfill this obligation. Any person who claims to be a socialist, who would reject this is nothing but a hypocrite if you ask me. What FARC represents, what FARC have done for decades now represents nothing but …. TERRORISM!!!
These guys have done nothing but promote violence, murder, kidnapping, and worst of all, tormented the people they ludicrously claim to represent (Their full name is enough reference for such a claim). This is high treason against the people, if you ask me!
In the words of Adam Beach, in the role of Ira Hayes in the movie Flags of Our Fathers, “You know, I think this whole damn thing is a farce, if you ask me.”
I will not go into a longer discussion about FARC-EP and specific details, since I don’t have the proper arguments supplied with source material and quotes at disposition, but if you ask me, you have completely missed the central points by claiming that FARC is solely a terrorist organization. Indeed they have killed a lot of civilians by accident in their actions against the paramilitary and governmental repression they have been met with, but I have read a whole lot about this guerilla movement, especially regarding the Fighters+Lovers-case in Denmark – a group of young activists currently undergoing a court case for having intentions of donating money to the movement: they were firstly acquitted in the city court of Copenhagen, but the case was still appealed to the national court by the prosecution (with all evidential odds against them).
Let me say this straight: the whole regime of Colombia is corrupt and based upon cocaine production from both sides – even FARC! The national economy and one’s social rights in the country are a disaster, and due to what I have heard, the constantly liberal and conservative governments since the beginning of elections have been preventing socialistic parties from taking active part of the national parliament (= unfree elections for socialist parties!). Furthermore the paramilitary groups in direct coorporation with the government are responsible for murders of central persons of the trade-union and directly terrorizing the movement and its struggle for better social policies and worker’s rights (read more about such kind of murders on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Violencia).
“These guys have done nothing but promote violence, murder, kidnapping, and worst of all, tormented the people they ludicrously claim to represent (Their full name is enough reference for such a claim).”
What a lie! Legal attempts have been tried – a party called Unión Patriótica (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uni%C3%B3n_Patri%C3%B3tica_(Colombia)) once contested a few decades ago, but 5000 of their members were killed during that time, and so FARC gave up peaceful behavior and reentered the armed conflict. Sounds like a very wimpish way of leading a democracy by killing members of the opposition, if you ask me!
The analysis you posted above is too simple and primitive within its conclusion, sorry to say it, and it offends me a lot, since you clearly don’t have knowledge of the historical background from the current situation in Colombia. If you want to read some more objective, left-wing oriented articles (Danish) about the case (you say that you identify yourself as a socialist), I suggest you visit http://www.modkraft.dk/spip.php?page=tema-fightersandlovers
F+L have explained in their pixi-book (which can be bought here: http://butik.modkraft.dk/product_info.php?cPath=53&products_id=275 – you are welcome to borrow my copy) about FARC, that “FARC is neither angels nor demons – but humans of meat and blood, fighting a righteous struggle for freedom against a brutal regime”. Even though it’s a subjective opinion on page 1, they have still listed a lot of common questions with facts about FARC, the government, drug-trafficking and Colombia general on the following pages, giving the reader a seriously thought-provoking input about the movement.
Other interesting links:
http://www.fightersandlovers.org/ (Fighters + Lovers’ blog/website about their court case with links to numerous articles in the media)
http://modkraft.dk/spip.php?page=tc-artikel&id_article=5927 (the chronology of the F+L-case)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colombian_armed_conflict_(1964%E2%80%93present) (the on-going civil war in Colombia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communism_in_Colombia (historic explanations on the riots and massacres in the history of Colombia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Andean_diplomatic_crisis (when the USA invaded the Ecuadorian territory recently to assassinate the leader of FARC, Paul Reyes, which forced Ecuador and Venezuela to rearm and put their military forces at the borders to Colombia protesting against the insulting behavior – if you ignored this TERRORIST ATTACK on the Ecuadorian side of the borders by the COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT itself and the UNITED STATES, you showed yourself as truly ignorant by writing this blog post! Sorry for the hard words, but FARC is more than just ‘pointless terrorism’. It’s the only serious socialist alternative to the current form of government. Of course I lament their use of i.e. child soldiers, but sometimes it can be the only way of succeeding in a greater struggle.)
Karmus, you are talking out of your ass. The farc are not fighting a righteous struggle. They have not been for at least 15 years. They are thugs and criminals.
I am a liberal Colombian, very anti George Bush and the current US administration but having spent a considerable amount of time in country, having lost relatives to both sides of the conflict, and having seen my country almost collapse under the threat of these idiots, I can’t stand it when liberals and radical lefties put these assholes on a pedestal. Why don’t you come to Colombia and have family kidnapped or killed, or see your job prospects vanish because no foreign investment is possible without stability. Do that and see how much you like the FARC then. Do that and tell me they are fighting the “good” fight .
There is a reason 80% of Colombians stand behind Uribe and yes, Colombia is a democracy (not a perfect one, that does not exist) and it happens to be the oldest democracy in Latin Amercia. The FARC should enter the political process so they can get their asses kicked in elections as well. Yes, the last time the Union Patriotica tried, the were killed in droves but that was during the heyday of the narcos (Pablo Escobar) and the Paras.
Colombia has come a long way. It still has a long road to travel, but this is not the same country that was tearing itself apart in the 80s and 90s.
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