As the world looks on towards the un-rest and ‘global’ jihad of Yemen and Nigeria, a much more low key war lurks below our vision, Columbia has been a country plagued by the FARC (fuerzas armadas revolucionarios de Columbia). For many years this dark collection of guerrilla fighters have been abducting, hijacking and bombing the authorities commencing in the 1960’s. The groups Marxist and communist views have somewhat taken a back seat in recent years and now are seen in the minds of most as being a major player in the worlds cocaine production and distribution.
In the last few days the group has once again hit the headlines, abducting French journalist Romeo Langlois, as he became injured between rebel and police fighting in the northern region of northern Caquetá, it is believed the police together with troops from the columbian army were conducting a raid on a drugs production plant. Romeo whilst reporting on the overlooked conflict, happened to end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ambushed whilst moving away from their helicopter, 20 soldiers were reported to have been killed in the action and another 4 taken hostage. A nightmare situation for any journalist. Although the FARC’s numbers have dropped considerably in the past 3 years they still remain an obvious and dangerous insurgency. With their estimated numbers stretching between 8,000 and 18,000 (in 2011) in an area of around 190,000 square miles (around twice the size of Britain) they are relatively sparse. But with guerrilla attacks on army checkpoints occurring almost daily in the vicious region, the group continue to rock the Columbian jungle. 50 years on the group is still managing to kill and injure soldiers on a daily basis and as a result it remains one of the worlds most dangerous regions.
A group remaining from a South American legacy set by Che Geuvara. The communist ideal they’ve been fighting for for the last the last 50 years has long been forgotten and laid to rest by the remainder of the world, however the persistent group wont lay down their arms. Their tactics follow classic guerrilla warfare, causing fear and disarray within the Columbian ranks, one tactic used by Che Guevara was to snipe the first man of every patrol. As I’m sure you can imagine the effect this has on the unit, is the front man going to do his job properly with his own inevitable death floating over his head? This is just an example of the barbaric traits of this type of jungle warfare. In 2011 alone, 460 members of the security forces were killed and another 2,000 injured, and with an estimated $2million a day being made through illicit drugs la violencia see’s no end.