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Columbia’s FARC blew up oil pipeline in Catatumbo

Jun 23, 2015 09:00 IST

FARC-EP or FARC: A guerilla movement based in Columbia

FARC was in news on 17 June 2015 as the militant organisation blew up a major oil pipeline in the municipality of Catatumbo in northern Colombia.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People's Army (FARC-EP) is a left wing militant organization established in 1964.

It is Colombia's largest rebel group and Latin America's oldest left-wing insurgency. It is active in Colombia, Venezuela, Panama and Ecuador.

Like any left-wing militant organisation, its aim is to overthrow the government in power.

It was established as a communist-inspired peasant army fighting for land reform and to reduce the gulf dividing rich and poor in the Andean country.

However, in recent times, the FARC has been criticized for eschewing its beliefs in favor of illegal drug trade, kidnapping and extortion activities.

Now, Colombia is one of the world's top cocaine producers and the FARC is estimated to make around 500 million US dollars from the illicit drug trade per annum.

FARC has been engaged in peacetalks with the Columbian government, since November 2012, aimed at ending more than 50 years of conflict.

There has been agreement on several points and the negotiations continue to be held in the Cuban capital, Havana.

There has been a spike in attacks on army and public infrastructure by FARC since it suspended unilateral ceasefire on 22 May 2015 which it declared in December 2014.

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