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FARC timeline

Latest update : 2008-04-09

Created in 1964, the FARC regularly takes hostages to fund its war against the state.


1964 – Creation of the rebel group FARC (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), branded as a terrorist organization by the European Union and the US.
March 1999 – the FARC kills 5 American militants of the American Indian rights campaign.

February 2002 – The FARC kidnaps Ingrid Betancourt during her presidential campaign for the Colombian green party.

 July 2003 – France attempts to release Ingrid with military force. Their operation fails. 
2006 – Re-election of Alvaro Uribe, in power since 2002, as Colombian president.

7 May 2007 – Ingrid Bétancourt’s mother, Yolanda Pulecio, appeals Nicolas Sarkozy, freshly elected as France’s president.

17 May – Escape of a Colombian police officer, John Frank Pinchao Blanco, a FARC hostage for more than 8 years who declared that Ingrid Bétancourt was still alive.
18 May – Alvaro Uribe orders the army to liberate the hostages.

19 May – Paris is opposed to military action.

24 May – The FARC asks Nicolas Sarkozy to intervene in favour of the creation of a demilitarised zone before negotiating an exchange of hostages for FARC prisoners.

1 June – Start of the liberation process of the 193 first rebels of the FARC. Many imprisoned FARC guerillos reject this decision. They  maintain that the only solution is to negotiate an agreement in a demilitarized zone between the two parties.

4 June – Alvaro Ulribe declares that, following Sarkozy’s demands, he will release Rodrigo Granda as a « peace mediator ».

Date created : 2007-06-07