Colombia’s largest rebel group FARC denied it has been weakened and says the rebels’ “struggle” for a socialist Colombia is legitimized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In a video recorded on March 24 and published on YouTube two days later, FARC commander “Ivan Marquez” said “there exists no end to the guerrilla as propagandized by the pawns of the trans-nationalization of the economy of Colombia. What does exist is an intense political and military confrontation and a growing mobilization of the social sectors.”
The prominent guerrilla leader, whose real name is Luciano Marin Arango, rejected the FARC’s international label as terrorist organization, claiming that “the revolutionary violence, the rebellion against unjust and tyrannic regimes is an irrevocable universal right” as the organization is resisting a state that does not respect the human rights of its inhabitants.
According to Marquez, “the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, approved by the U.N. in 1948 enshrines and legitimizes the right to rebellion. To define this right as terrorism goes against the norms of these states.”
Marquez referred to the preamble of the human rights declaration that says, “Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.”
The FARC has been fighting the Colombian state since 1964 and is the hemisphere’s largest still-existing insurgent group that has been funded by drug trafficking, extortion and mining. The FARC have long used kidnapping as a form to generate income, but vowed to ban this practice earlier this year.
The rebel organization has frequently been criticized for its disregard for human rights because of the organization’s use of child soldiers and landmines, and the carrying out of terrorist attacks on civilian targets.