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Colombia’s Peace Talks with Rebels in Question

Colombia has struggled with guerrilla groups for half a century, including the largest leftist group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Founded in 1964, the FARC has aimed to take control of the government and establish a Marxist regime. More than 200,000 people have died in the violence of drug trafficking and kidnappings. After years of conflict, ongoing peace talks began between the government and Farc in 2012.

The second largest rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), recently agreed to start peace talks with the Colombian government this June. The ELN was also created in 1964, influenced by the Cuban Revolution and favors, like Farc, a Marxist government.

While peace talks with the two largest rebel organizations seem like a major achievement  towards ending the 50-year long civil conflict, it is only a small step.

A gang made up of former paramilitary groups, Los Urabeños, held a town hostage in northern Colombia for two days as they attacked police forces, killing 5 people. Groups like these, called “Bacrims” by the Colombian government, are now its greatest threat to security. Even FARC expressed concern about the Bacrims, emphasizing that their actions are disturbing the peace that is being promoted.

Colombia is attempting to establish a more sound country and government in its discussions with the FARC and ELN, but it will take critical strides to truly cure the country’s deeply rooted unrest.


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