This is a source for analysis, interviews, and commentary on security in Latin America. Herein you will find rumors, the results of off the record interviews, and information you'll not find in international or United States news media.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

FARC with money problems

Some interesting news out of Colombia earlier this week reported that the FARC is in financial trouble.

Former Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos announced at the end of November 2009 that "there are certain disagreements between [FARC leaders] Mono Joyjoy and Alfonso Cano."

For many years, the FARC has suffered the effects of a two-way split between the younger members, led by Joyjoy, who want to go after the money through drug trafficking, and the older members, led by Cano, who are more ideological and presumably still set on overthrowing the Colombian government.

Since both factions are in need of money, a disagreement over the direction of the FARC has surfaced with a significant amount of tension, according to some reports.

It will be interesting to see how Cano and Joyjoy resolve their differences. If the FARC does split, I would imagine that the more militarized Joyjoy faction would continue on, while the ideological side of the FARC would either wither on the vine or somehow try to transform into a peaceful political party… Maybe events in 2010 will tell...

1 comment:

Sylvia Longmire said...

I don't know if you remember, but the FARC tried the political party thing in the mid 1980s when it started the UniĆ³n Patriotica party. They did OK until the AUC started picking off higher-ranking party members, and they decided to go bank to the armed insurgency route. I think Cano's faction - having been around longer - would remember this experience, and be very hesitant to try that route again. They'd have to be REALLY convincing to the Colombian government with the idea that they'd be willing to lay down their arms, maybe provide intel on the armed faction, help release hostages, etc. Acquiring any measure of political credibility would be really difficult; but then again, the whole overthrowing-the-Colombian-government hasn't exactly been a cakewalk for them either. They might be up for it.

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