INTRODUCTION • The Colombian climate is very tropical along the coast, but cooler throughout the highlands and the Andes mountains • Colombia is located on the north western coast of South America. • It is the only country in South America with coastlines on the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean • Capitol City: Bogota (pop: 8.262 million) • Other major cities:Medellin, Cali, Bucaramanga • Ranked 88th on the HDI Population = 45,239,079 (July 2012 est.)
INTRODUCTION CONTD… • Began in 1964 between the Colombian government and small guerrilla groups like the FARC • Colombia is a country full of resources such as gold, copper, natural gas. • The rebel groups receive a lot of funding for the war through ransom and drug trafficking. • It was colonized by the Spanish in the 16th century. • It became an independent country in 1819. Most of the fighting throughout the civil war, occurred in the rural areas.
Shared leadership between the liberal party and the conservative party. Lasted from 1958-1974 Four presidential terms –Alberto Camargo (Liberal), Guillermo Valencia (Conservative), Carlos Restrepo (Liberal), Misael Borrero Put in place to end the “unwanted” military regime of Gustavo Rojas Pinilla. 1960s -Began attacking communist farming and peasant communities –claims harboring bandits and communists. (backed by the United States.) Fought back and forth with guerrilla groups –FARC, M-19, ELN. Vote returned in 1974 as planned but fighting with the government did not stop. Alberto Camarago The National Front Laureano Gomez
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) Involved in the Colombian civil war since 1964; the same year it was formed Unification of communist militant groups and peasant self-defence groups Marxist-Leninist revolutionary group Majority of funds came from kidnapping ransom, gold mining and the drug trade Established as the main military group for the Communist Party of Colombia Had strong beliefs that the Colombian government was not treating the poorer, lower class citizens with fairness. Adopted a very “Bolivarianism” , anti-imperialist attitude Took part in guerrilla fighting with the Colombian government
National Liberation Army (ELN) • The Lesser known revolutionary guerrilla army within Colombia • Marxist and liberation theology • Founded by Fabio Vasquez Castano in 1964 • Headed by a group of Catholic Priests that saw flaw in the way the lower classes were treated by the government. • Main source of income comes from middle class operatives and ransom money • Has been listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S State Department and the European Union • Is known to carry out kidnappings and attacks on Colombian Infrastructure • Has worked with the FARC in fighting with the Colombian Government
19th Of April Movement (M-19) • Became active after the April 19th, 1970 election was supposedly stolen from previous military dictator Gustavo Rojas Pinilla • A revolutionary socialist group that sought to bring in a populist form of government • The M-19 also stole 5000 weapons from the Colombian government, solidifying them as a violent guerrilla group • The M-19 kidnapped and executed Jose Raquel Mercado; a union leader for the Confederation of Workers of Colombia • Most notably the M-19 were responsible for the siege of the Dominican Republic’s embassy, an event in which 14 ambassadors hostage; including the American ambassador to Colombia • The M-19 eventually gave their weapons up and became a political party –towards the late 1980s- which renounced the armed struggle in Colombia
Key Events • 1965 - Leftist National Liberation Army (ELN) and Maoist People's Liberation Army (EPL) founded. • 1966 - Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc, the current largest guerrilla grouping) set up. • 1970 - National People's Alliance formed as a left-wing counterweight to the National Front. • 1971 - Left-wing M-19 guerrilla group emerges. • 1978 - President Julio Turbay (Liberal) begins intensive fight against drug traffickers.
Key Events Contd… • 1982 - President Belisario Betancur (Conservative) grants guerrillas amnesty and frees political prisoners.War against drug cartels stepped up 1985 - Eleven judges and 90 other people killed after M-19 guerrillas force their way into the Palace of Justice; Patriotic Union Party (UP) founded. • 1984 - Campaign against drug traffickers stepped up following assassination of justice minister.
Columbian Conflict: Present Day • Espada de Honor War Plan • Freed Hostages • Back and Forth with Peace and War • Negotiations (peace talks)
Espada De Honor War Plan: • Targeted leadership • Dismantle the FARC structure • Cripple the FARC financially and eliminate the • military • Freed Hostages: • The last 10 of captured police and military personal were released after more then a decade • Rescued from the Southern Columbian jungle • Retrieved by Brazilian owned and operated helicopters • Peace and War: • Promised to end political abductions (February) • Continued with political abductions (July) • Negotiations: • Congress approved a law setting up guidelines for peace talks • No ceasefire during negotiations • Two sides met In October is Oslo • Christmas ceasefire