Civil War in Colombia

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Civil War in Colombia

For a long time now, Colombia has been engaged in civil war. Matters of inequality, especially relating to the rich and the poor, have been at the forefront of the war. Different rebel groups have formed in an attempt to fight for the rights of the poor. Since the 1950s different people, have each come out to lead the war, and they have focused on different agendas, some of which include drugs and the greed and corruption of the government. La Violencia was the beginning of the civil conflict in the region (Restrepo, Spagat and Vargas 399). There were increased hostilities as different groups emerged, and they fought against the state authorities. During the 60s, several leftist guerrilla groups emerged, as a reaction to the government’s treatment of the poor and the effectiveness of the country’s judicial system. The main guerrilla movement, the Revolutionary Armed Forces in Colombia (FARC) emerged during the period of La Violencia. It was a way for the poor people to defend themselves. However, the communist party joined and controlled it, and it became a revolutionary army in the 60s. Other than FARC, the other active guerrilla group in the country is the National Liberation Army (ELN).

The different guerrilla groups have continued to flourish over the years because of an inefficient judiciary, and the fact that they are able to get the funds they need from their drug trading activities (Lopez 7). The guerillas will continue challenging the state and engaging in war as long as they have the means to do so. The government’s efforts to use the paramilitary have largely been unsuccessful, as the paramilitary has often engaged in drug trafficking and harassing the people. The government tried to disarm several guerrilla groups, but they only managed to disarm the small groups and larger groups such as the ELN and the FARC continued to engage in the war because they had the resources to do so.

The civil war has been at the forefront of almost every incoming government. The leaders talk about their resolve to end the conflict, and they highlight this as their main agenda and commitment. The past and present governments have used different strategies as they continue looking for ways of ending the conflict. Several leaders have tried different means of resolving the conflict, which has presently become a war between the military and the guerrillas, with the assistance of the paramilitary. The political leaders have tried different means of resolving the conflict. Some have proposed the increase of the military forces, and they have armed them so that they are able to fight with the guerillas. Others have proposed the involvement of the paramilitary on a more active basis. The current government has proposed talks with the guerrillas, and they hope to reach an agreement that will resolve the conflict. The government has agreed to hold discussions and negotiate with FARC in order to resolve the conflict. The efforts by the different governments to end the violence have resulted in the weakening of the FARC. T he members of the guerrilla group have reduced in number, and the government has managed to weaken them as they drive them out of the urban centers and other strategic positions.

Although the government places its hopes on the negotiations between them and the different guerrilla groups, it is not clear whether those efforts will result to any great changes. This is because different governments have tried to hold such dialogs previously, but the parties have not managed to come up with any solution that will end the war. For instance, peace talks between the government and the guerillas failed in 2002, and the government resolved to use the military against the guerillas. This had some positive effects as it leads to reduced violence, but it did not manage to end the war (Lopez 8). However, with the weakening of the guerrilla forces, it is most likely that the talks might succeed.

Works Cited

Lopez, Giselle. “The Colombian Civil War: Potential for Justice in a Culture of Violence” Policy Briefing 2.1 (2011): 6-22

Restrepo, Jorge, Michael Spagat and Vargas, Juan. “The Dynamics of the Colombian Civil Conflict: A New Data Set.” Homo Oeconomicus 21.2 (2004): 396-428