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Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)

I. History and reason for formation
A. The FARC was founded during the Colombian armed conflict
that started in 1964. It was founded by Manuel Marulanda Velez, Jacobo
Arena, and other Colombian Communist Party members (PCC) when the
US and Colombian government began attacking the Marquetalia Republic
B. Rodrigo Londono Echeverri, also known as Timoleon
Jimenez or Timochenko is the current highest in command of the FARC.
He took over leadership in November 2011 after Alfonso Cano was killed
by the Colombian Army
C. The FARC have an estimated strength of 8,000 men as of
II. Overview of their ideology
A. Stated goal- to overthrow the current democratic government
in Colombia and replace it with a communist government.
B. They believe radical change will be most quickly attained
through violence and/or force
C. Profile- Radical, bold, fearless, brave, violent, angry, with a
variety of ages of men. Their thought process is that the U.S. government
and the wave of capitalism has done nothing for them but cause turmoil,
and that the country would be better off under a communist regime.
III. Tactics & support
A. FARC was involved in La Violencia,unnamed large attacks
on the Colombian government, and many other small attacks/kidnappings.
B. The main FARC supporters are peasants in rural Colombia
and Venezuela, and other supporters of Communistic values.
C. The FARC operations are funded by kidnap/ransom, illegal
mining, extortion, taxation of various forms of economic activity dealing
with illegal drugs (production/distribution)
A. La Violencia (1948-1958) sparked the beginning of civil war
in Colombia and is the conflict in which many of the terrorist groups, such
as FARC, began to arise.
B. Attack on Marquetalia (May 1964) - The 40-50 survivors of
the Marquetalia attack held a meeting meant to create a more formal

insurgent organization with their main goal of seizing power from

capitalists and using marxist fundamentals for their cause.
C. 1996 Las Delicias military base - After extensive planning
and intel gathering, FARC attacked a military base in the Putumayo
department. 54 died, 15 were wounded, and 60 were captured. After 15
hours of fighting, the entire rural military base was destroyed.
D. Bojay massacre (2002) - 119 civilians killed. Not extremely
effective because they were trying to take control of the Atrato River and
they ended up failing to do so
E. June 24th 2005- One of the biggest attacks since 2000, here
FARC attacked military positions located in Puerto Asis in the Putumayo
department. 25 were killed, 20 were wounded.


Risk of Stability to the local area, U.S., and world

A. We give them a score of 6. FARCs level of support is decreasing on the
whole, they have lost 16,000 supporters over the last decade. This obviously
decreases their poise as a threat to the surrounding area and the United States.
However, they still conduct violent missions and threaten Colombia with the
possibility of communism. They are also closer in proximity to the U.S. than most
other terrorist organizations. They pose the greatest risk the Colombia itself, and
then the U.S., but they are likely not a big enough threat to pose much risk to the
world as a whole. Therefore, we gave them a score of 6, not having other
basises to compare them to.

National Liberation Army (ELN)

IV. History and Reason for Formation
A. The National Liberation Army was founded in 1964 by Fabio
Vasquez Castano. The group, a collection of Marxist/Liberation theologyfavoring Colombians, was trained in Communist Cuba by Castros Military.
Upon Castanos death, the movement was lead by a group of Roman
Catholic Priests. One priest, Camilo Torres Restrepo, was particularly
influential in epitomizing what the movement was fighting for: Liberation
and Marxism on behalf of the overwhelmingly poor general population of
B. The 1970 saw military defeat and a crisis within the
organization. A new priest, Father Manuel Perez Martinez, took control of
the ELN, and lead until his death in 1998. Under Martinez, the group
solidified its ideology as a model of the Communist Cuban Revolution.


They also devised a plan to make Colombia into a Communist and

Christian regime in order to resolve the rampant poverty in the region.
C. The late 1970s saw the ELN manage to break free of their
encirclement by the Colombian National Army. After their rise back into
prominence, they began to use kidnap and extortion from oil companies in
order to solidify their cash flow. From 2000-2007, the ELN kidnapped and
caused the death of 153 hostages, overall kidnapping over 3000 people
since 2000. The group has, since ~2005, gradually began talks with the
government about negotiating an end to the kidnapping.
V. Overview of Their Ideology
A. Stated goal - The ELN's goals and ideology have shifted
throughout its history. Its original objective was to replace the Colombian
government and create an egalitarian democracy with special attention to
representing the rural peasant class. As the ELN became more
radicalized, it pursued the Cuban model of pure socialism. In 1996, it
backed away from creating a socialist state and reverted back to its
original goal of an egalitarian democracy.
B. They will not hesitate to kill if it means some benefit to them.
They want as many resources and people as possible, because they
recognize how important it is to have these resources for their own power.
C. Profile - The National Liberation Army is one of the two main
guerrilla armies with left-wing political ideologies operating in Colombia.
Initially a Marxist-Leninist nationalist movement, it now appears more
focused on kidnapping, extortion and attacks on economic infrastructure.
And while it supported drug trafficking for decades, it has recently been
linked to the narcotics trade and has sought alliances with large drug
trafficking organizations.
VI. Tactics & Support
A. ELNs strength has fluctuated over time. In the 70s, its
strength was reduced from 200 to about 35 due to a Colombian military
attack. They regained numbers in the 80s, reaching its peak number of
supporters in the 90s. However, after 2000, it began seeing the limit of
what it could accomplish and started experiencing setbacks.
B. Their main tactics, which were very effective in the 1990s,
were to become the most prolific kidnapping organization in the country
(and their goal was eventually to become the most dangerous in the
C. They were often known for stealing oil, extorting companies,
and earning large sums of money by doing this type of thing.
1. October 18, 1998: ELN guerrillas from the "Jose Antonio Galan Front"
blew up an Ocensa pipeline in the Colombian department of Antioquia. The

subsequent oil spill incinerated 46 houses, killing 84 people and injuring 30

others. ELN leader Nicolas Bautista later admitted that the attack was a
"tremendous error". (84 killed, 30 wounded).
2. April 1999: ELN guerrillas hijacked an Avianca flight, landed it in a
remote location and took all passengers and crew hostage. (1 killed, 46
3. May 1999: ELN guerrillas dressed as Colombian military personnel
kidnapped 186 people from a Cal church. It is the single largest kidnapping in
Colombia's history. (Unknown casualties).
4. September 18, 2000: ELN guerrillas set up roadblocks outside the city
of Cali and kidnapped 58 people. Twenty-five of the victims were quickly
released because they were either not wealthy enough or too many members
of the same family were being held. (Unknown casualties)
5. October 7, 2009: ELN guerrillas helped Carlos Marin Guarin (aka
Gustavo Anibal Giraldo, aka Pablo or Pablito), one of their top leaders,
escape from a jail in Arauca as he was about to be moved to a jail in Bogota.
The operation, codenamed Operation Che Guevara, demonstrated the ELN's
increasing capabilities. (1 killed, 1 wounded).

Risk of Stability to the Local Area

A. We give this group a rating of 4/10. Even though this group
is still active today, we dont see this as an immediate threat that the US
needs to stop. There are much more dangerous terrorist organizations in
the world, and focusing resources to stop this one wouldnt make much
sense. However, they are still a dangerous organization that can impact
lives of people and significantly affect the economy, so there is a little bit of
risk involved. There is also talk of the ELN joining FARC, which could be
much more dangerous.