Colombian Military Kills 18 FARC Rebels in Airstrikes
Bogota: The Colombian military killed 18 FARC rebels Friday in airstrikes on two guerrilla camps in the east-central province of Meta, Defense Minister Gabriel Silva said. Both camps were located in a rural area outside the town of Vista Hermosa and had lodging for a combined total of roughly 200 fighters, he said in a statement. After the air force bombed the bases, ground troops from Task Force Omega entered the now-abandoned camps and found “25 rifles, abundant war materiel, explosives and information of interest to military intelligence,” the statement continued. Silva said that at least 50 rebels have been killed during Task Force Omega’s months-long campaign against the Eastern Bloc of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the country’s largest insurgency.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army also known by the acronym of FARC or FARC-EP, is a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary guerrilla organization based in Colombia. They have fought in the ongoing Colombian Civil War for more than 40 years.
FARC-EP was established in the 1960s as the military wing of the Colombian Communist Party because of repeated and systematic human right abuses by the US-backed elitist Colombian government and thus originated as a guerrilla movement. The group later taxed the cocaine trade during the 1980s to finance itself, but remained closely tied to the Communist Party even as it created the Patriotic Union in the early 1980s and later a political structure it calls the Clandestine Colombian Communist Party (PCCC).
FARC-EP was present in around 20-30 percent of Colombia’s territory during 2005, its largest concentrations being located throughout the southeastern parts of Colombia's 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles) of jungle and in the plains at the base of the Andean mountains.