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Seventh Guerrilla Conference of the FARC-EP: Wikis

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The Seventh Guerrilla Conference was a conference held by the Colombian FARC in 1982 under the guidance of Jacobo Arenas and Manuel Marulanda. The Conference added the term "People's Army" to the group, resulting in the new name being FARC-EP. The Seventh Guerrilla Conference was a turning point in the FARC's struggle, as it provided them the opportunity to finetune their policies and plans in order for them to build their desired socialist state in the future. The FARC's Conferences, as seen by Marxists and Leninists, can be interpreted as similar to the International conferences previously held in Europe with the participation Karl Marx, Fredrick Engles, V.I. Lenin and Leon Trotsky.

Contents

Overview

Jacobo Arenas is credited with allegedly being the main figure behind the FARC's 1982 Seventh Guerrilla Conference and a contemporary "Strategic Plan", which would have outlined a series of goals and steps that would organize the FARC into an "Army of the People" (the initials "EP", Ejército del Pueblo, were adopted during this Conference) capable of potentially seizing power sometime in the 1990s, explicitly combining both the illegal and legal forms of struggle (organically implementing a traditional Marxist and Communist strategy termed "the combination of all forms of struggle"), as well as the political and the military aspects of their group.

Belligerence of the FARC-EP

The role of Jacobo Arenas in FARC's military reorganization was significant. After the Seventh Guerilla Conference in 1982, Arenas started to work toward the goal of turning the FARC from a guerrilla organization to a rebel army (the "People's Army"). According to his instructions, FARC added ranks and badges to many of its uniforms, as well as introducing a new inventory system for firearms and ammunition, in addition to providing new weapons and technology for FARC militants. In theory, a properly organized and trained guerrilla army would thus meet the international requirements for the recognition of a "state of belligerence", contained within the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949 and its additional protocols.

Many U.S. and other military experts argue that Manuel Marulanda Velez, as a veteran guerilla fighter and as an excellent commander for four decades, heads perhaps the most capable and dangerous Marxist guerilla organization in the world. Marulanda is very often referred to as "Sureshot" ("Tirofijo"), because of a reputation for using firearms very accurately during his earlier years as an insurgent. For some of those analysts, an allegedly problematic aspect in Marulanda's profile concerns the fact that he has limited educational background, due to the poor economic conditions that his family and many others had to face when growing up in rural Colombia. Jacobo Arenas, on the other hand, had political and ideological education as a communist intellectual, thus it is believed that he realized that FARC's initial status was not up to the necessary standards needed to properly fight a Colombian Army that could count on the aid of the United States from time to time.

This was possible since, after the 1959 Cuban Revolution, the United States increased its military influence throughout the region through the activities of the U.S. Southern Command, an organization tasked with overseeing and handling military affairs in Latin America. U.S. Special Forces, such as the Green Berets, specifically trained to fight in Latin America jungles for counterinsurgency operations. Additionally, the widespread Spanish language was also taught to many members of U.S. forces in the region. From the perspective of Arenas, the challenge of having to potentially face a military with the highest standards in the world made upgrading FARC's own military capabilities a necessity.

External links

References

  • Diario de la resistencia de Marquetalia, Jacobo Arenas, Ediciones Abejón Mono, 1972
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