The FARC faces the empire

James Petras, Michael M. Brescia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarios de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army-FARC-EP) is the most powerful and successful guerrilla army in the world confronting neoliberal regimes and their U.S. backers. It is the dominant political force in over 50 percent of the country's municipalities, fielding a guerrilla army of approximately 18,000 mostly peasant fighters. In addition, it has urban militia units in most major cities and towns and hundreds of thousands of sympathizers throughout the country. The political and military advance of the FARC in 1998-1999 has been aided by the deepening economic crisis in the country. President Pastrana's implementation of the IMF-World-Bank structural adjustment program has increased official unemployment to 18 percent, while the economy is in a serious depression with an estimated -5 percent growth rate projected for 1999. As the FARC gains adherents among peasants and workers, the military has increased its support for the paramilitary forces, which have, over the past two years, assassinated thousands of trade-unionists, peasant activists, and human rights workers and any individuals who speak in favor of a negotiated peace settlement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-142
Number of pages9
JournalLatin American Perspectives
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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