Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | February 23, 2012

Ideology—or not—in the FARC

Over at, a young journalist, Jesse Perez-Robicheau, suggests the FARC are on the demise because the group’s alliance with the drug cartels, particularly the Mexican cartels, has moved the organization away from ideology and into drug trafficking. For decades, the FARC have built ties with drug gangs and fought for control over key routes and supplies.

Jesse, perhaps we will cease to hear the name FARC—but it is likely its members will recycle their “skills” into another drug group. What will they call themselves? The name Bacrim, Bandas Criminales or Criminal Gangs, is already taken. The Bacrim is comprised of former paramilitaries, and they are quickly becoming Colombia’s newest threat.

The temptation of the billions of dollars in drug money, plus the corruption of government and military officials, has been one of the reasons the drug war has lasted so long.

But the FARC may need ideology to stay in business as competition from other drug cartels gets tougher. reported the FARC are increasingly selling its (stolen) cattle as income from cocaine trafficking drops.

So it is, Jesse, that, after all, the FARC may need to hold on to ideology, to keep telling its recruits, Comrade, we kidnap and rob, and traffic drugs when we can, in the name of ideology.

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