Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia

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The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia is the largest guerilla group operating in Colombia.

Reporting Massacres

"The media's over-reliance on official sources, despite ... a long history of lying and manipulation by those sources," often makes the media "an instrument of U.S. foreign policy," writes Garry Leech. On February 12, Reuters and Spain's EFE reported "that leftist rebels belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) had massacred six members of a family, including an 80-year-old woman. The entire story ... was based on the statements of a single Colombian government official." U.S. outlets, including the Houston Chronicle and ABC News, ran the story. But "it was later revealed that the FARC were not in fact responsible. ... The interior minister of the department of Antioquia ... acknowledged that following an initial investigation into the killings, 'The method of operation indicates [the perpetrators] to be paramilitaries.'" Only EFE ran a follow-up story. A United Nations report released the same week documented "an increase in extra-judicial killings by Colombian soldiers and police." [1]

United Nations reports have also documented that, during 2004, "FARC-EP continued to commit grave breaches [of human rights] such as murders of protected persons, torture and hostage-taking, which affected many civilians, including women, returnees, boys and girls, and ethnic groups."[2]

On March 26 2006, the Weekly News Update on the Americas reported that the Campesino Association of the Cimitarra River Valley (ACVC) "said it had determined that guerrillas from the 24th Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were responsible for the Feb. 18 murder of community leader Guido Romero, vice president of the Communal Action Board in the rural community of La Victoria in Cantagallo municipality, Bolivar department. The ACVC had [originally] attributed the murder to rightwing paramilitaries in a Feb. 21 communique. The mayor of Cantagallo and the regional newspaper Vanguardia Liberal, based in Bucaramanga, had maintained all along that the FARC's 24th Front was responsible." [3]

Other instances of the FARC's participation in killings has been reported by sources not considered to be friendly to the Colombian or U.S. governments. The National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), which has also reported paramilitary and military killings, on April 1 2006 reported that "the FARC murdered two Wanaan indigenous teachers in Chocó", whom they accused of being "army informants", and "have manifested that they have another five teachers in their sights for the same reason." This incident led to the forced displacement of several hundred members of the indigenous community. ONIC has called on the Colombian state and on the international community in order to protect these people and demand that the FARC refrain from such behavior. [4] [5]

The FARC has admitted its participation in other killings, such as the massacre of 34 coca farmers that it accused of being "paramilitary supporters." [6]

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