FARC or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and ELN National Liberation Army are no Match to ISIS Islamic State (ISIL/IS) Daesh, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Taliban and Hezbollah and Political/Radical Islam in the Indigenous Peoples of Colombia and South America
FARC or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army (Spanish: Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia—Ejército del Pueblo, FARC–EP and FARC) is a guerrilla movement involved in the continuing Colombian armed conflict since 1964. It has been known to employ a variety of military tactics in addition to more unconventional methods, including terrorism. The FARC-EP, which formed during the Cold War period as a Marxist–Leninist peasant force, promotes a political line of agrarianism and anti-imperialism. The operations of the FARC–EP were funded by kidnap and ransom; illegal mining; extortion or taxation of various forms of economic activity; and the taxation, production, and distribution of illegal drugs. The United Nations has estimated that 12% of all killings of civilians in Colombian conflict have been committed by FARC and ELN guerrillas, with 80% committed by right-wing paramilitaries, and the remaining 8% committed by security forces.
The strength of the FARC–EP forces is high; in 2007, the FARC said they were an armed force of 18,000 men and women; in 2010, the Colombian military calculated that FARC forces consisted of about 13,800 members, 50 percent of whom were armed guerrilla combatants; and, in 2011, the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, said that FARC–EP forces comprised fewer than 10,000 members. In 2013 it was reported that 26,648 FARC and ELN members had decided to demobilize since 2002. According to a report from Human Rights Watch, approximately 20–30% of the recruits are minors, most of whom are forced to join the FARC. The greatest concentrations of FARC forces are in the southeastern, northern and southwestern regions of Colombia’s 500,000 square kilometers (190,000 sq mi) of jungle, in the plains at the base of the Andean mountain chain and in northwestern Colombia. However, the FARC and the ELN (National Liberation Army of Colombia) lost control of much of the territory, especially in urban areas, forcing them to relocate to remote areas in the jungle and the mountains .
In 1964, the FARC–EP were established as the military wing of the Colombian Communist Party (Partido Comunista Colombiano, PCC), after the Colombian military attacked rural communist enclaves in the aftermath of The Violence (La Violencia, ca. 1948–58). The FARC are a violent non-state actor (VNSA) whose formal recognition as legitimate belligerent forces is disputed by some organizations. As such, the FARC has been classified as a terrorist organization by the governments of Colombia, the United States, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, and the European Union; whereas the governments of Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, and Nicaragua do not. In 2008, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez recognized the FARC–EP as a proper army. President Chávez also asked the Colombian government and their allies to recognize the FARC as a belligerent force, arguing that such political recognition would oblige the FARC to forgo kidnapping and terrorism as methods of civil war and to abide by the Geneva Convention. Juan Manuel Santos, the current President of Colombia, has followed a middle path by recognizing in 2011 that there is an “armed conflict” in Colombia although his predecessor, Álvaro Uribe, strongly disagreed. In 2012, FARC announced they would no longer participate in kidnappings for ransom and released the last ten soldiers and police officers they kept as prisoners, but it has kept silent about the status of hundreds of civilians still reported as hostages, and continued kidnapping soldiers and civilians. In February 2008, millions of Colombians demonstrated against the FARC.
In 2012, the FARC made 239 attacks on the energy infrastructure. However, the FARC have shown signs of fatigue. As of 2014, the FARC are not seeking to engage in outright combat with the army, instead concentrating on small-scale ambushes against isolated army units. Meanwhile, since 2008, the FARC have opted to attack police patrols with home-made mortars, sniper rifles, and explosives, as they are not considered strong enough to engage police units directly. This follows the trend of the 1990s during the strengthening of Colombian government forces.
In June 2016, the FARC signed a ceasefire accord with the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos in Havana. This accord has been seen as a historic step to ending the war that has gone on for fifty years.
On August 25, 2016, the Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, announced that four years of negotiation has secured a peace deal with FARC and that a national referendum would take place on 2 October. The referendum failed with 50.24% voting against. The Colombian government and the FARC on November 24 signed a revised peace deal, which the Colombian Congress approved on November 30.
National Liberation Army or ELN
The National Liberation Army (Spanish: Ejército de Liberación Nacional, ELN) is an armed group involved in the continuing Colombian armed conflict, which has existed in Colombia since 1964. The ELN advocate a composite communist ideology of Marxism and liberation theology. They conduct military operations throughout the national territory of Colombia; in 2013, it was estimated that the ELN forces consisted of between 1,380 and 3,000 guerrillas.
The ELN is the lesser known of two communist guerrilla armies who operate in Colombia; the other guerrilla army is the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC–EP) who are Marxist–Leninist in their approach to the national liberation of Colombia. According to former ELN national directorate member Felipe Torres, one fifth of ELN supporters have taken up arms. The ELN has been classified as a terrorist organization by the governments of Colombia, Peru, United States, Canada and the European Union.[
Sandinista National Liberation Front or FSLN
Its members are called Sandinistas [sandiˈnistas] in both English and Spanish. The party is named after Augusto César Sandino, who led the Nicaraguan resistance against the United States occupation of Nicaragua in the 1930s.
The FSLN overthrew Anastasio Somoza Debayle in 1979, ending the Somoza dynasty, and established a revolutionary government in its place. Following their seizure of power, the Sandinistas ruled Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990, first as part of a Junta of National Reconstruction. Following the resignation of centrist members from this Junta, the FSLN took exclusive power in March 1981. They instituted a policy of mass literacy, devoted significant resources to health care, and promoted gender equality. A militia, known as the Contras was formed in 1981 to overthrow the Sandinista government and was funded and trained by the US Central Intelligence Agency. In 1984 elections were held but were boycotted by some opposition parties. The FSLN won the majority of the votes, and those who opposed the Sandinistas won approximately a third of the seats. The civil war between the Contras and the government continued until 1989. After revising the constitution in 1987, and after years of fighting the Contras, the FSLN lost what many consider the first truly democratic election in 1990 to Violeta Barrios de Chamorro but retained a plurality of seats in the legislature.
The FSLN remains one of Nicaragua’s two leading parties. The FSLN often polls in opposition to the Constitutionalist Liberal Party, or PLC. In the 2006 Nicaraguan general election, former FSLN President Daniel Ortega was re-elected President of Nicaragua with 38.7% of the vote compared to 29% for his leading rival, bringing in the country’s second Sandinista government after 16 years of the opposition winning elections. Ortega and the FSLN were re-elected again in the presidential election of November 2011.
Zapatista Army of National Liberationor EZLN
The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN), often referred to as the Zapatistas, is a revolutionary leftist political and militant group based in Chiapas, the southernmost state of Mexico.
Since 1994 the group has been in a declared war “against the Mexican state”, and against military, paramilitary and corporate incursions into Chiapas. This war has been primarily defensive. In recent years, it has focused on a strategy of civil resistance. The Zapatistas’ main body is made up of mostly rural indigenous people, but includes some supporters in urban areas and internationally. Their main spokesperson is Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano, previously known as Subcomandante Marcos (a.k.a. Compañero Galeano and Delegate Zero in relation to “the Other Campaign“). Unlike other Zapatista spokespeople, Marcos is not an indigenous Maya.
The group takes its name from Emiliano Zapata, the agrarian reformer and commander of the Liberation Army of the South during the Mexican Revolution, and sees itself as his ideological heir. Nearly all EZLN villages contain murals with images of Zapata, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, and Subcomandante Marcos.
Although the ideology of the EZLN reflects libertarian socialism, paralleling both anarchist and libertarian Marxist thought in many respects, the EZLN has rejected and defied political classification, retaining its distinctiveness due in part to the importance of indigenous Mayan beliefs in the Zapatistas. The EZLN aligns itself with the wider alter-globalization, anti-neoliberal social movement, seeking indigenous control over their local resources, especially land. Since their 1994 uprising was countered by the Mexican army, the EZLN has abstained from military offensives and adopted a new strategy that attempts to garner Mexican and international support.
Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front of FMLN
The FMLN was formed as an umbrella group on October 10, 1980, from five leftist guerrilla organizations:
- the Fuerzas Populares de Liberación Farabundo Martí (FPL),
- People’s Revolutionary Army (ERP),
- the Resistencia Nacional (RN),
- the Partido Comunista Salvadoreño (PCS) and
- the Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores Centroamericanos (PRTC).
The FMLN was one of the main participants in the Salvadoran Civil War. After peace accords were signed in 1992, all armed FMLN units were demobilized and their organization became a legal left-wing political party in El Salvador.
On March 15, 2009, the FMLN won the presidential elections with former journalist Mauricio Funes as its candidate. Two months earlier in municipal and legislative elections, the FMLN won the majority of the mayoralties in the country and a plurality of the National Assembly seats.