The reason why the FARC was formed is directly tied with Communism in Colombia. Although it started as a military wing of the Communist Party, it has since been branded as a terrorist organization by the US and the Colombian government.
The period in the late 1940s is known as La Violencia in Colombia. Over 200,000 people were killed. As the Colombian Liberal Party lost control, the military under General Gustavo Rojas seized power in 1953. Rojas offered amnesty to the warring factions if they lay down their arms.
However some groups resisted, including the communists. The Colombian Communist Party set up guerrilla units in the country. They were led by Jacobo Arenas. So the main reason why the FARC was formed was to fight off Gen. Rojas and also the other factions that were fighting for control of the country.
The Late 1950s and 1960s
By the late 1950s, civilian rule was restored to the country. However, the Colombian Communist Party was gaining ground in several areas. These included Sumapaz and Marquetalla. In 1964, the government decided to put a stop to it by launching a military assault. The communists under Arenas and Manuel Marulanda fought back. They would eventually become the leaders of the group.
Throughout the 80s the organization was able to survive in spite of fractions and various splinter groups. Although the reason why the FARC was formed was to fight the state, its critics allege that it has gone beyond the ideology. They cite the organization’s involvement in the drug business. As money was flowing in the drug trade, the group started using it to fund their operations.
During the 80s the group established the Patriotic Union Party, although it still had ties with the Communist Party in Colombia.
The Organization Today
Today the group has roughly 12,000 members. They are scattered throughout southeast Colombia, in particular its jungles. Their presence has also been reported at the foot of the Andean mountains. With few exceptions like Venezuela and Cuba, most governments label it a terrorist group. Aside from the cocaine trade, it is also into kidnapping and bombings.
According to their leaders, their objective is to fight for the poor. They claim that FARC was formed was to stop the oppression and exploitation of the poor by the rich.
The group also denounces the continued interference of the Americans in Colombia. It also claims that the US and the Colombian government are conniving to steal the natural resources of the country.
While they do admit to resorting to violence, the militant group also says that it is open to negotiations. Other conditions are being asked by the group to stop the fighting. This includes releasing prisoners. The leaders also deny the claim that they employ minors. They only accept members who are 15 years and older.
The reason why the FARC was formed is rooted in Communism. Because of its involvement with drugs and kidnapping however, it has become a major threat to peace and security in Colombia.