The FARC, Colombia’s largest rebel group which is widely condemned for its human rights abuses, allegedly spent $150,000 to produce a CD with catchy and upbeat revolutionary tunes to attract recruits and improve the image of the guerrilla force.
Computers confiscated from the FARC by Colombia’s national police reveal that the guerrilla group invested thousands of dollars in the production of the CD, newspaper El Tiempo reported on Monday.
According to the newspaper, the idea was first proposed in 2000, when FARC member “Manuel Marulanda” sent en email to fellow guerrilla leaders explaining the need “to search for a hook, something modern, that draws people in.”
What followed was an email exchange between some of the most powerful members of the guerrilla group, including “Mono Jojoy” and “Marcos Calarca,” discussing the proposed musical strategy.
One of the group’s emails, by FARC leader “Felipe Rincon” suggests “We have to get the guy who makes merengues and we have to offer him a big budget.”
The end result was a professionally produced Latin music CD – with various international artists commissioned to create songs for the album and the star piece being the very catchy and upbeat “Guerrilla Dance,” a modern merengue with lyrics composed specifically to represent the mission of the FARC in a hip-shaking way.
The song, which was uploaded to YouTube a year ago, invites listeners to “move their hips” and “carry the grenades and the rifles” and to bring an end to Colombia’s government.
The diary of FARC member “Jhon 40” states that the total production cost of the CD was over $150,000, including the commission costs of the artists and the launching and advertising costs of the final product.
According to website El Nuevo Siglo the FARC have been posting music on their website for years, but this is the first collection of songs to be professionally produced by the guerrilla group.