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In pictures: The FARC’s 50-year insurgency in Colombia

AFP archive

A historic peace deal to end more than 50 years of civil war in Colombia may well signal the end of the Marxist-inspired Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels. FRANCE 24 takes a look back at Latin America’s longest-running insurgency.


Starting as a small group of agrarian workers in the 1960s, the FARC grew to include an estimated 20,000 active fighters at the height of its power towards the end of the 1990s and came to control wide swaths of the country’s south and east.

The rebel group, which became increasingly entangled in and dependent on Colombia’s lucrative drug trade, suffered significant military setbacks in the late 2000s and are now estimated to include only around 7,000 guerillas.

If the historic Colombian peace accord can clear the final hurdle of a public referendum on October 2, the FARC have agreed to hand over their weapons and become a legitimate political party.

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