FARC: Who We Are and What We Fight For

FARC-EP

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army, FARC-EP, is a revolutionary movement of military and political nature, born in 1964 in the jungle of southern Tolima.
guerrilla.jpgOur founders were 48 campesinos from the Marquetalia region, an agricultural colony founded by them ten years earlier. Our main leaders were Manuel Marulanda Vélez and Jacobo Arenas, who led our struggle until they died, by natural causes, many years later.

In the early sixties of the last century, an anti-communist wave swept through Latin America and the Caribbean, encouraged by the US government, expressed in the theory of National Security and guided by the principle of the internal enemy, which was systematically instilled in the military and police forces of the continent. According to this theory, all political opposition, all traces of social unrest and any popular expression engaged with an economic, social or political transformation was considered part of a Soviet plan for world domination and therefore, enemies to be exterminated. Even after the fall of the Berlin Wall, this theory continued being applied and it is still effective in our country.

For various historical reasons, Colombia has a past of State political violence and armed rebellions, which were also the expression of power monopolization by the bourgeois and landlord classes and the exercise of a land dispossession policy in favor of big landowners. Agricultural colonies, founded by the campesinos banished from their native lands, began to be considered independent republics that had to be annihilated. It’s after the attacks launched against the colonies of Marquetalia, El Pato, Riochiquito and El Guayabero that the FARC-EP was born, as an armed reaction willing to seize political power together with the non conformity and rebellion of the dispossessed masses from the countryside and the cities.

Our first political declaration, known as the Agrarian Program of the Guerrilla Fighters, states that we have risen up in arms because the doors to a legal, peaceful and democratic political struggle were closed in our country. Today, we are thousands of fighters, women and men, scattered throughout the nation’s geography. We have been through almost 52 continuous years of political and armed struggle, facing an increasingly large state onslaught, which has always enjoyed the full support of the Pentagon and the US government. We have encouraged social and political struggles in defense of popular interests and have searched on multiple occasions to reach a peace agreement in order to end the long-lasting bloodshed that afflicts our country. Every time the State has found a violent and repressive response, which have harnessed all kind of both legal and illegal methods that prevent Colombia from progressing, such as massacres, political executions, dispossession of peasants, dirty war, paramilitarism and terror.

Today, more than ever, we raise the flag of peace and reconciliation among Colombians. We want to obtain a definitive commitment from the ruling classes to eradicate violence in response to popular discontent. We want our country to build the broadest of political democracies, one that can be exerted without the risk of political assassination, to open the doors for the effective resolution of the most serious flaws affecting Colombian people.

We are part of the global tide that stands against imperialism and neo-liberalism, against war, against environmental destruction, against patriarchy and all forms of discrimination between human beings. We believe in the integration of Latin America and the Caribbean, we believe that every nation has a right to sovereignty, to freely and democratically choose their destiny without foreign interference. We dream of a better world without abysmal economic and social differences, living in peace and harmony. A world where capitalist exploitation is finally put to an end.