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Who are the FARC, and what’s the deal with the peace agreement in Colombia?

colombia FARC

An anti-FARC demonstration in 2008. (xmascarol/Flickr)

After 52 long years of fighting -- and four more on top of that in negotiations -- the Colombian government and the infamous rebel group known as the FARC just reached a truce, ending one of the longest civil wars in history.

Who are the FARC?

The FARC, or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (the acronym is for the Spanish initials), is a guerrilla militant group that has been fighting inequality in Colombia, inspired by Communist ideals. Violently.

The FARC was made up of fighters from poor, rural communities and included men, women, and even children. But the size of their army had been diminishing in the past few years. Top leaders were killed within the past decade, and the US government began investing in funding and training the Colombian security forces.

What was the agreement?

  • The FARC leaders will be protected both from imprisonment and assassination.
  • The guerrillas will be able to transform into a political party (if they are able to convince supporters, of course).
  • It will end the fighting and violence, which was important for both sides.
  • There will be special tribunals for the victims of the conflict (an estimated 260,000 people have been killed and millions displaced).
  • The drug trade will end. The FARC has managed to stay alive for so long by smuggling cocaine, mostly into the States. The militants agreed to wean farmers off of growing the illegal coca crop by working with the government.

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Who are the FARC, and what’s the deal with the peace agreement in Colombia?

Allison Hollender

Allison is originally from Fresno, California, but made her way to the beautiful Central Coast, where she is a student at UC Santa Cruz, earning a degree in both history and politics, working as a reporter for City on a Hill Press, and guzzling gallons of coffee. She is a lover of television and all things Amy Poehler. Follow her embarrassing attempts at jokes on Twitter @alleyrenee16.

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