Recently, the President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos signed a peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia(known as FARC, the Spanish acronym), but the Colombian citizens needed to approve it before the deal went through. However, the measure failed by less than a half of a point a couple of weeks ago. Reports show that voter turnout was below 40 percent, which didn’t appear to be surprising considering what was on the ballot. Now most people have no clue who the FARC are. Here’s a brief history of them and their relationship with the Colombian government.
The FARC are a long-standing rebel group that formed in 1964. Their ideology is considered to be that of a Marxist-Leninist Communist one. In fact, a member of the Colombian Communist Party founded FARC. Colombia is known for drug trafficking, such as cocaine. In the mid-1970s and through the 1980s, FARC began smuggling cocaine and other drugs to fund their operations. In fact, at one point, roughly 60 percent of drug trading was controlled by FARC.
Over the last four years, the Colombian government and FARC have negotiated the peace deal. Despite some bumps in the road, such as an FARC kidnapping of an army general, the two sides agreed to a deal.
Throughout its history, and especially since the early 20th century, Colombia has had massive wealth inequality, and it’s just getting worse. In fact, Colombia is one of the ten most unequal countries in the world. The issue is a factor into the creation of FARC. The peace deal could still eventually be put into effect, but it will take time and renegotiations.