Colombia’s largest rebel group FARC has carried out a total of 2,148 attacks in 2011; the highest number in 15 years, a Colombian think tank said Monday.
According to Leon Valencia, director of the leftist think tank Corporacion Nuevo Arco Iris that monitors Colombia’s illegal armed groups, there is no indication that the FARC are weakening as suggested by President Juan Manuel Santos.
“He is right that the FARC are not the same as in the 90s [when the guerrilla occupied one third of Colombia’s territory] and are no strategic threat when it comes to taking power.” Valencia told RCN Radio, adding that Santos is not telling the truth when stating “that they are disappearing. In several regions, the FARC are strengthening.”
According to figures by Nuevo Arco Iris, the number of FARC attacks have gradually been going upward since 2004 when 949 attacks were registered.
Not just the FARC, but also right-wing neo-paramilitary groups are gaining strength, claimed the analyst and former member of the demobilized M-19 guerrilla group.
According to Valencia, the groups that took over from the officially demobilized paramilitary organization AUC and the now-defunct Norte del Valle drug cartel have grown to have more than 10,000 members, almost double than the official number.