The FARC (a guerilla group, English translation: The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) killed four hostages last month, a desperation move in fear that their demise is on the horizon.
On November 5, a statement published by the Bolivarian Press Agency declared the leadership of the FARC was in the hands of Timoleon Jimenez, part of a restructuring plan of the group’s leadership since the deaths of four guerilla leaders over the last four years. FARC now seems to be increasingly vulnerable. In the coming decades, Colombia will be free from the illegal operations carried out by FARC.
FARC may very well be headed toward decline. The decline is rooted in the shift FARC has experienced from being an ideological organization to a drug cartel.
Today, the estimated 18,000 FARC members are spread across Central America. FARC is not unified and has evolved into a more corrupt group suffering from the mismanagment of drug cartel leaders. Over the past decade, a divide between FARC’s money-making drug affiliates and weakening the secretariat’s ideology has come into play. Thought of as being on the same team, the drug cartels are profiting off of the organization rather than fighting its traditional ideological war. FARC’s new image of enabling drug cartels to live more lavishly has sparked this divide by taking away financial resources spent on food, shelter, and the daily lives of the FARC’s soldiers encouraging them to leave the organization.
Collaboration with Mexican drug cartels underlines that FARC has been forced to put more of their chips in the drug business. The deals with the Mexican cartels will pull even more of these drug cartels from FARC who want to be independent. Where these FARC drug affiliates are now operating raises a question about whether their alliance is with someone else. With finance mismanagement failing to benefit the FARC, you can expect that the FARC‘s membership will decline.
The fate of the FARC is up to Colombia. As events continue to tug at both the decline and divide of FARC in the coming decades, Colombia will be free from the illegal operations carried out by FARC. As Colombia’s strategy to aim for leadership has caused a divide in its favor, we will see if this causes an even bigger problem.
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