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Disarmed Colombian Rebels Enter Politics, Keep ‘FARC’ in Party Name

LADB Article ID: 80416
Category/Department: Colombia
Date: 2017-09-22
By: Andrés Gaudín

After spending 53 years participating in Latin America’s most devastating and bloody domestic war, and two months after turning over its last weapons to a UN mission, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) ended its guerrilla war in order to form a political party. It has been active in Colombia’s legal political system since Sept. 1 “The FARC’s political party could be a step towards an opening up of Colombia’s political system,” Marc Chernick, director of the Center for Latin American Studies and professor of conflict resolution and human rights at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, said just before the party’s founding congress. Chernick, who also teaches at the University of Los Andes in Bogota, continued, “I think they will seek to consolidate a leftist party that isn’t necessarily Marxist, considering they are not the only actors in a very fragmented left.” Agreements made at the congress proved Chernick correct. Despite the many positive signals given by the old guerrilla movement in its transition to legality, the greater part of the establishment ignored the new party born as the Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria del Común (Alternative Revolutionary Force of the Common), a name that, by preserving the old acronym (FARC), is a sign that the former rebels are willing to assume responsibility for their political past.

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