Monday, September 27, 2010

Colombia, A Prelude


Over the last week or so, your attention may have been directed more than once towards the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, also known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. The Feds claim that the door-busting carried out late last week was solely motivated by an attempt to find domestic groups that fund terrorists.

This raises a lot of important questions which I did not have the answers to, so I've begun to do a little research. I'm going to share not only the results of that, but also my research process, and perhaps you, O Loyal Readers, can help us all come to some consensual conclusions.

The first questions are raised by the FBI raids themselves. First of all, is there a legitimacy to the worry that domestic activists raise money for foreign terrorists organizations (or FTOs, as they say in bureaucratese)? What exactly are the motivations behind these small obscure groups? What relation do they have to an organization such as FARC? Should Americans feel that such actions taken by the FBI actually lead to increased security?

But of course in even asking those questions, we find our information lacking. Who or what is FARC? Why are they emphasized with equal importance to Hezbollah, one of the most infamous "freedom fighter" organizations in the world? (Many people, especially in the younger and post-9/11 crowd may not be familiar with FARC at all; others, such as myself, may have rarely paid them any attention.) Is it true that they fund themselves through drug trafficking and kidnapping ransoms?

These more fundamental questions also raise important political considerations - for those of us who are Marxists, or merely anti-war activists, and for those of us just being brought to political consciousness because damn, the world is fucked up lately, and the people we've let run things are doing a piss-poor job.

So I'm going to try to find the relevant news and information and share it with yall lovely people, and then apply a little of that good ole dialectical materialism, and we'll see what we come up with.

How's that for fair and balanced? (Eat it, Fox News.)

A list of preliminary links:
- Wikipedia Entry on Geography of Colombia
- Wikipedia Entry on Economy of Colombia
- Wikipedia Entry on FARC

2 comments:

Nullstellensatz said...

I'd recommend this article from shortly before 9/11 when FARC was at its peak.

http://socialistworld.net/eng/2001/09/09.html

Dresden Scott said...

Thanks! It's too bad this article seems to date back to a time when the editing was more lax, because some of the errors interfere with the reading. Overall, though, that article has a lot of helpful information and some sound analysis. So, thanks.