Behind the News 2 – The origins of the FARC and the Colombian Conflict

History Behind the News: Special Episode on the origins of the FARC and the Colombian Conflict, 1964-2016. Topics: Civil War, Origins, Terrorism, Criminal Organization, Narcotrafficking, Paramilitaries, Political and Military conflict, Peace Process


Image: No Mas FARC Movement, El Tiempo (Newspaper), February 4, 2008, Bogota (?), Colombia.

Listen here

Listen on iTunes

Show Notes

On this special episode of History Behind the News, we explore the origins of the FARC guerrillas and the Colombian Conflict (1964-2016).

After the recent rejection in a referendum of the Peace Accord between Colombia and its most important revolutionary group, the FARC, we go back to the causes of the conflict, and we try to understand how Colombia got to this point in its history.

Topics include: “La Violencia” Civil War (1948-1958), the creation of the FARC guerrilla army, the “Dark Side” of the FARC (terrorism, crimes, atrocities) and the Drug Trade, the Paramilitaries, the Political and Military conflict with the Colombian government, and the Peace Process.

Links for this episode:

Note on the sources:

After much research, I came to the conclusion that the Wikipedia articles on the subject seem to be well referenced, with the following caveat: many of the references offered in Wikipedia are in Spanish — in fact, the articles look like translation from original Spanish-language articles — so I could not confirm that the content and methodology of those original articles were sound (I understand Spanish, but not well enough for that!). However, from reading other English-language scholarly articles, I could at least confirm that Wikipedia does reflect the academic consensus on the subject. Therefore, in this instance, we can say with enough confidence that the facts and the analysis contained in these Wikipedia articles are correct.

Wikipedia – The History of FARC

Stanford University – Mapping Militants Project – Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army

Encyclopaedia Britannica – the FARC

BBC News – Profiles – Colombia’s Armed Groups (August 2013)

Transnational Institute – The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Illicit Drug Trade

Wilson Centre – The FARC and Colombia’s Illegal Drug Trade, By John Otis, November 2014

AUC – Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia)

Wikipedia – Colombian peace process

Wikipedia – Colombian peace agreement referendum, 2016

The Guardian – Why Colombians voted against peace with the Farc 

Smithsonian Magazine – Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Colombian President Who Got Guerillas to Come to the Table

If you enjoyed this episode and have questions, suggestions or feedback, send an email to:

feedback at historynewsshow dot com

History News Show Facebook Page

Cover art by Philippe O’Connor

Music: Noble March, by Mjollnir, from Audio Jungle

Author: Jordan

Host of the History News Show podcast