FARC Announces a Call To Arms Against the Columbian Government
In 2016, Columbian President Juan Manuel Santos created an accord that was supposed to see the end of a half century long bloodbath, a plan that earned him a Nobel Peace Award. With the entry of new President, Ivan Duque, elected on June 17th, his ability to hold up the accord, or correctly implement the mechanisms detailed within is contested, aggravated by his platform for the election being the complete overhaul of the deal. On Thursday, August 29th The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia, from here on out referred to as FARC, publicly announced their condemnation of the centrist president and vowed to take up arms against the government. Much of the outrage stems from the murders of hundreds of leftist activists and rebels following their demobilization in accordance with the peace deal. The perspective of the FARC is shown in the video posted below which features Luciano Marin and several armed guerrilla warriors declaring their dismay with the current political climate, citing that they signed the “accord in Havana we did so with the conviction that it was possible to change the life of the most humble and dispossessed,” (Marin, 0:00:19-0:00:24).
Later on in the long video, filmed as a call to arms to the Columbian people, he argues that “the state hasn’t fulfilled its most important obligation, which is to guarantee the life of its citizens and especially avoid assassinations for political reasons” (Goodman, Marin) referencing the frustration over politically based killings. While President Duque is a self-proclaimed centrist, Marin describes him as a conservative, displaying the subjectiveness of political leanings, as well as demonstrating just how far left the FARC considers themselves to be. Joining the fray is the ELN, the National Liberation Army, an even more radical organization who began to emerge as the FARC demobilized for a time. “They expressed their support of the declaration by releasing their own video filmed along a river in Colombia’s western jungles” (Goodman). Such proclamations have not gone unnoticed, and the Columbian government has insisted upon the arrest of the rebel leaders, as well as calling for an investigation into the rebel groups in an attempt to delegitimize their claims and burden them with war crime allegations. These actions are to be taken in order to maintain some semblance of peace within the country as Duque continues on his ambitious efforts to reform a peace deal.
Written primarily on the proclamation of the rebel groups, the article by Time lacks details on political policy, while missing key concepts necessary for context. The governmental perspective is thrown in at the end as if it were an afterthought and makes for a very biased and skewed description of the recent occurrences in Columbia. The revolutionary voices are very strong in this article, and their message is well articulated, but again lacks context beyond the unfortunate assassins of rebel leaders. There is nothing describing the nature of these assassinations, or the actions of the FARC preceding their release of the message. By eliminating key contextualizing facts, the groups are reduced to two-dimensional organizations that seem to exist solely in this instance and for that reason alone. This gives the impression that the complex conflict in Columbia is simply another case of government versus unhappy heavily armed rebels.
Link to article discussed: https://time.com/5664323/farc-rebels-colombia-government/
Goodman, Joshua. “FARC Rebels Say They Are Taking Up Arms Against Colombia Government Again.” Time, Time, 29 Aug. 2019, time.com/5664323/farc-rebels-colombia-government/.
Tomaselli, Wes. “Ivan Duque’s Plan to Fix Colombia’s Divide.” Time, Time, 19 July 2018, time.com/5342766/ivan-duque-colombia/.