Terrorism in Latin America - FARC

Table of Contents


Introduction........................................................................................3

Security...............................................................................................4

Terrorism............................................................................................5

FARC vs State......................................................................................6

Conclusion ..........................................................................................9

Bibliography......................................................................................10

 

 

Introduction


Modernist nationalism maintains that nations and nation-states are the products of the last two century. According to the abovementioned theoretical approach and history of Latin American countries, Colombian nation is also the creation of this particular period and as effective statehood is the crucial element in every nation’s everyday life, we should research the obstacles that are given to them. One and the most important thing is national and international security. In the actual case, as internal security is the competence of every state, Colombia’s obstacle towards effective internal security became terrorism and terrorist groups. 
What is Terrorism? How it can be prevented and what are the reasons of such radical kind of protest.
These questions are crucial for every nation and especially for Colombia. 
FARC – Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) represents organized terrorist group, which is considered as the threat for Colombian individuals, institutions and statehood at all. 
It’s interesting how these radical organization works, what are their goals and the ways they are using to reach them. How its structure is managed and what exact problems can occur, if the effective instruments are not used against it. 
This paper is going to research FARC and Colombia, its internal security and statehood problems. 


Security


Security is a highly contested concept. Its usage spectrum is comprehensive; it is used in relation to a very wide range of collective and individual activities and circumstances. Can be distinguished security in normal daily activities – which is job, economy, transport, food and etc. security for positive desirable conditions – democracy, freedom, prosperity,, development and a good life and security against negative conditions – war, pollution, crime and all such kind of threats.(Cristensen)
In order to deal with the complex problem of security we should have some kind of general understanding of the analytical concept of it, should be introduced a simple model of the abovementioned variety. Six levels can be identified:


1. Security for the individual (individual security)

2. Security for the social group, the community, “nation”, organized national or ethnic entity (societal security)

3. Security for the state or “nation”, in the US terminology (national security)

4. Security for the region, that is, a coherent security region, not necessarily one based on proximity (regional security)

5. Security for the society of nations or what could be referred to as “international society”, consisting of all, or most states in the world (international security)

6. Security for the globe, meaning “Spaceship Earth” or the planet (global security). 


(Cristensen)


To the single person the vital threat seems to be that to physical and economic survival, and State should provide service for that. In our case Terrorism appears to be for most physical threat for humans and the system of state which have competence and responsibility, should provide security service for its citizens. 
Also we should mention that targets can be not only individuals, but the identity of society, statehood – means threat for sovereignty – when situation is so terrible, that government can’t provide effective control of its territory, can’t execute the law and jurisdiction. 
In our particular case, terrorism generally threatens almost every level of security and therefore it can be interesting for IR scholars.


Terrorism


Terrorism is not new and even though it has been used since the beginning of recorded history, it can be relatively hard to define terrorism.
“Terrorism has been described variously as both a tactic and strategy; a crime and a holy duty; a justified reaction to oppression and an inexcusable abomination. Obviously, a lot depends on whose point of view is being represented. Terrorism has often been an effective tactic for the weaker side in a conflict. As an asymmetric form of conflict, it confers coercive power with many of the advantages of military force at a fraction of the cost. Due to the secretive nature and small size of terrorist organizations, they often offer opponents no clear organization to defend against or to deter.” (Terrorism-research)
According to Federal Bureau Terrorism can be identified by the activities with the following characteristics:


- Involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;

- Appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.


(Terrorism)


One crucial fact that has to be mentioned is that terrorists never consider their selves as terrorists; they think they are freedom fighters and etc. and have holy duty to use such violence in the name of absolute good. 


FARC vs State


The Revolutionary Armed Forces de Colombia) was founded in 1964 as a social revolutionary organization with Marxist Leninist ideological grounds with the avowed intent to overthrow the democratic Colombian government. FARC is Latin Amer equipped insurgency with possibly 12,000 fighters, located generally in rural zones of Colombia, South America’s oldest democracy. While FARC no longer keeps the strictest adherence to this original ideology, t Marxist-Leninist, and much of the documentary material obtained in latest years still employs strong Marxist-Leninist rhetoric. military, economic, political and ta trafficking, kidnapping for murder, extortion, ransom and other criminal acts, to the point where the group is better known for its major role in the illicit narcotics industry than for its insurgent actions. Yet its lead revolutionary goals and employs terrorist tactics to intimidate its political adversaries. (Post, 2007) The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC—Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) was founded in 1964 as a social revolutionary organization with Marxist Leninist ideological grounds with the avowed intent to overthrow the democratic Colombian government. FARC is Latin America’s oldest, largest, most skilled equipped insurgency with possibly 12,000 fighters, located generally in rural zones of Colombia, South America’s oldest democracy. While FARC no longer keeps the strictest adherence to this original ideology, the group’s senior members still consider themselves Leninist, and much of the documentary material obtained in latest years still Leninist rhetoric. In addition to its attacks on Colombian military, economic, political and targets, FARC has been heavily involved in narcotics trafficking, kidnapping for murder, extortion, ransom and other criminal acts, to the point where the group is better known for its major role in the illicit narcotics industry ns. Yet its leadership is still committed to its social revolutionary goals and employs terrorist tactics to intimidate its political adversaries.


History


Colombian history is bathed in blood, over a century ago, there was crisis in the country and the latest phase, which can be described as a culmination of tension occurred during 1948 and 1958 and is called as “LA VIOLENCIA”. Civil war between conservatives and liberals caused almost 200000 deaths – bloodletting did huge damage to the society of Colombia. Because of governments’ refusal to comply people’s socioeconomic demands, lack of control raised and Pedro Antonio Marin – or Marulanda, born in a  peasant family in a coffee-growing region of west-central Colombia, who had only four years of formal education, and is considered to be a professional survivor and a determined commander, started to fight against regime. (Post, 2007)
Following this events, revolutionary movements started to develop at the same time in different regions. For instance: April 19 Movement  and The National Liberation Army (ELN—Ejército de Liberacion Nacional of Columbia) and the Shining Path (SL—Sendero Luminoso) and Túpac Amaru of Peru.(Post, 2007)


LA VIOLENCIA was ended by military coup d’état and during 1958 and 1974, liberals and conservatives had had to form FRENTE NACIONAL according to the power sharing arrangements. But this violent period lead landless local people to band together and create self-defense communities, which were guided by Marulanda – liberal’s left- wing representative. – That is what we were talking about security, when state can’t provide security service – economic or physical, society is under danger and they start to coordinate to handle the obstacles. (Post, 2007)


Those families who were the part of rural workers’ movement cleared the land, controlled by them, for farming intent and were supported by communist party. They asked government officials to build roads and schools, to provide social service in general saying. (Post, 2007)


Government officials refused to support and these self-organized defense communities declared their creations as Marxist-Leninist agrarian “independent republics”. The largest one was Marqeutalia –including almost thousand members and was located in the remote mountains – in the Andean plains. After civil war, in the late 1950s Colombian Government with US support created PLAN LAZO – plan for reasserting control over the subversive groups in Colombia. In the early 1960s Governments attempted to occupy Marquetalia, but without any success. Second attempt was in the middle of 1960s, almost 2 thousand soldiers surrounded Marquetalia and started to hold blockade against peasant community. Blockade lasted for three months and the survivors of siege by secret paths, on the night of June 14, declared war against government. Southern Bloc was created. (Post, 2007)


And in 1966 Southern Bloc-s permanent meetings caused the creation of FARC – Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Manuel Marulanda became the leader of this organization and the violent fight against regime had started.


Finances


As I have already mentioned, financial security is one of the most crucial things at individual, societal and state level. 
As an organized group, FARC needed to have finances, but when these kind of closed societies intend to do business, they will have strong barriers on the way of gaining wealth, because of the criminal character of the societal actions. 
Therefore one day they will inevitably start underground business. FARC leaders decided to start drug business and finance their military efforts by this way. (Post, 2007)
Underground business, like drug trade damages Country’s economics and consequently damages each societal group living in that particular state and each person of that group. It should have caused disorganization of statehood and truly FARC illegal actions rationally or irrationally damaged Colombian state policy. 
Hugo Chavez was supporting FARC with finances and also provided military support to them. 
After 2002 president Alvaro Uribe had come to power in Colombia and step by step changed the tensed situation in the state, Country started economic development and at the very first year economy had grown at the annual rate – 5 percent, which was caused by oil prices. WHITE HOUSE was helping Uribe to govern state effectively and consequently criminal rate also decreased. 
FARC, identified as Terrorist organization is blocked all over the world, so every next day they will weaken. 


Conclusion


To conclude, it’s obvious that any kind of societies choosing the terrorist tactics to achieve even normal goals have no feature at all. If state governments have no power to tackle the challenge, international society will not allow them to threaten world order. 
When Nations are born, they are going through the bloody path as usual, but internal disputes and homeland terrorists lengthen this process. 
Terrorists appear threat at individual level, societal level and at state level (international also) at all and if their efforts are “well done”, effectiveness of statehood is decreasing at every point. 

 

Bibliography


(n.d.). Retrieved 05 15, 2014, from Terrorism-research:

http://www.terrorism-research.com/
( 2009-2014).

Retrieved 05 15, 2014, from Global Terrorism Database:

http://www.start.umd.edu/gtd/search/Results.aspx?chart=overtime&search=Farc


Cristensen, B. H. (n.d.). International Security. International Relations.

Post, J. M. (2007). The Mind of Terrorist.Palgrad, Macmillan .

Terrorism. (n.d.). Retrieved 05 15, 2014, from Federal Bureau of Investigation:

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/terrorism/terrorism-definition





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