Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)

  • Jerrold M. Post


The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was founded in 1964 as a social revolutionary organization with Marxist-Leninist ideological foundations with the declared intent to overthrow the democratic Colombian government. FARC is Latin America’s oldest, largest, most capable, and best-equipped insurgency with perhaps 12,000 fighters and are located mostly in rural areas of Colombia, South America’s oldest democracy.3 While FARC no longer retains the strictest adherence to this original ideology, the group’s senior members still consider themselves Marxist-Leninist, and much of the documentary material obtained in recent years still employs strong Marxist-Leninist rhetoric.4 In addition to its attacks on Colombian military, political, and economic targets, FARC has been heavily involved in narcotics trafficking, kidnapping for ransom, extortion, murder, 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 activities. Yet its leadership is still committed to its social revolutionary goals and employs terrorist tactics to intimidate its political adversaries.


Drug Trafficking Child Soldier Drug Trade Insurgent Group Military Strategy 
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    Constanza Vieria, Colombia: Five Decades of a Struggle for Land that Became a War, New York: Global Information Network, 2004.Google Scholar
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    Rex A. Hudson, The Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism: Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why? Report prepared under an interagency agreement by the Federal Research Division, Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1999, 107.Google Scholar
  3. 13.
    Thomas Marks, Colombian Army Adaptation to FARC Insurgency, Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, 2002, 4.Google Scholar
  4. 40.
    Jerrold Post, “‘El Fenomeno Chavez’: Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Modern Day Bolivar,” Monograph #39, Future Warfare Series, Maxwell AFB, AL: USAF Counterproliferation Center, 2007.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Michael T. Kindt, Jerrold M. Post, and Barry R. Schneider 2009

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  • Jerrold M. Post

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