THE COLOMBIAN ARMED GROUPS CONFLICT BEGAN IN 1964.THE  REVOLUTIONARY ARMED FORCES FOUGHT THE COLUMBIAN GOVERNMENT.THE ELN,WITH 1,500 FIGHTERS IS THE LAST GUERRILLA GROUP STILL ACTIVE.

May 1964: Rebel leader Manuel Marulanda, alias "Tirofijo," founds Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC.

— Aug. 7, 1982: Government of President Belisario Betancur starts peace negotiations with FARC.

— June 1987: Tenuous-at-best cease-fire wounded when rebels attack kills 25 soldiers in southern Colombia.

— April 1991: FARC, along with fellow rebel groups National Liberation Army and Popular Liberation Army, sit down for talks with government delegates in Venezuela. Talks are later moved to Mexico.

— October 1992: Negotiations end with no agreement.

— August 1998: President Andres Pastrana announces new peace effort with FARC. Sets up Switzerland-sized demilitarized zone in southern Colombia where talks can be held.

— Feb. 20, 2002: Rebels hijack plane and take captive a senator who is member of peace commission. Pastrana breaks off negotiations and orders security forces to return to the demilitarized zone.

— December 2004: Undercover Colombian agents capture Rodrigo Granda, considered FARC's "foreign minister," in Venezuela and move him to Colombia.

— Aug. 16, 2007: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez offers to mediate between FARC and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. Effort collapses few months later.

— March 1, 2008: FARC Secretariat member known by alias Raul Reyes killed in Colombian air attack on his clandestine guerrilla camp in neighboring Ecuador.

— March 26, 2008: Top FARC leader Marulanda dies of natural causes after more than four decades fighting government.

— Sept. 22, 2010: No. 2 FARC commander and top military strategist Jorge Briceno, alias Mono Jojoy, killed by air strike.

— Nov. 4, 2011: Top FARC commander Gullermo Saenz, alias Alfonso Cano, killed in attack by military.

— Feb. 26, 2012: FARC renounces kidnapping for extortion and frees all military officers in captivity.

— Aug. 12, 2012: President Juan Manuel Santos announces new peace talks with FARC. They begin two months later in Oslo, Norway, and later move to Havana.

— Aug. 24, 2016: President Santos' government and FARC announce peace accord.Colombia’s FARC turns from armed conflict to politics.


Guerilla and Paramilitary zones in Colombia FARC, ELN  and AUC -experiences.The battles began in 1964,the FARC rebels more than 50 years, the Colombian government battled a leftist rebel group known as the FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, in a conflict that claimed 220,000 lives, displaced millions of people and hampered the economy of a country rich in natural resources and human capital.So the challenge is that you have individuals, small groups, that, although less disciplined in terms of their willingness to obey order, are more of a challenge because they're much more dispersed geographically.Today, Colombia has never been closer to ending the world’s longest ongoing civil conflict. In the peace-accord negotiations between the federal government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group, representatives have reached agreement on three of six points—more than any previous negotiation. The country’s second strongest guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), is now talking with the government about joining the negotiations or starting its own peace process. And most importantly, in the country’s presidential election in June, which became a referendum on the peace process, Colombians re-elected Juan Manuel Santos, giving him more time and a mandate to pursue peace.

The negotiations with the National Liberation Army (ELN) - the country's last active rebel group - mark a new milestone in the Colombian peace process, after President Juan Manuel Santos's government sealed an historic accord with the country's largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) The Farc is the oldest and largest group among Colombia's left-wing rebels and is one of the world's richest guerrilla armies.Image caption Alfonso Cano, the Farc's main leader since 2008, was killed in November 2011.The group was founded in 1964, when it declared its intention to overthrow the government and install a Marxist regime.But tactics changed in the 1990s, as right-wing paramilitary forces attacked the rebels, and the Farc became increasingly involved in the drug trade to raise money for its campaign.President Alvaro Uribe, who swept to power in 2002 vowing to defeat the rebels and was re-elected in 2006, launched an unprecedented offensive against the Farc, backed by US military aid.The group had about 16,000 fighters in 2001, according to the Colombian government, but this is believed to have dropped to about 8,000, mainly as a result of desertions.The Farc, which is on US and European lists of terrorist organisations, has suffered a series of blows in recent years.The most dramatic setback was the rescue by the military of 15 high-profile hostages, including the former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt in 2008. The hostages had long been seen as a key element in the rebels' attempts to exchange their captives for jailed guerrillas.The group's founder and long-time leader, Manuel "Sureshot" Marulanda, died that same year of a heart attack.



Political crimes, such as merely belonging to the Farc, will be eligible for amnesty and pardons. The attorney general, Eduardo Montealegre, said that could cover as many as 15,000 people, including fighters in arms and civilian militia members.

United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC) This right-wing umbrella group was formed in 1997 by drug-traffickers and landowners to combat rebel kidnappings and extortion.Image caption More than 30,000 paramilitary fighters demobilised under a 2003 peace dealThe AUC had its roots in the paramilitary armies built up by drug lords in the 1980s, and says it took up arms in self-defence, in the place of a powerless state.Critics denounced it as little more than a drugs cartel.The AUC's influence stemmed from its links with the army and some political circles, and its strength was boosted by financing from business interests and landowners.The group carried out massacres and assassinations, targeting left-wing activists who speak out against them.In 2003, a peace deal was signed with the AUC, under which paramilitary leaders surrendered in exchange for reduced jail terms and protection from extradition.However, the Colombian authorities have extradited more than a dozen former paramilitary leaders to the US to face drug trafficking charges since 2008, saying they had violated the terms of the peace deal.Some 32,000 paramilitary fighters have been demobilised, but the legal framework underpinning the process has been widely criticised for allowing those responsible for serious crimes to escape punishment.

Colombian paramilitaries from the AUC stand guard during a ceremony to lay down their arms in northwest Colombia.

National Liberation Army (ELN) The left-wing group was formed in 1964 by intellectuals inspired by the Cuban revolution and Marxist ideology.It was long seen as more politically motivated than the Farc, staying out of the illegal drugs trade on ideological grounds.
The ELN reached the height of its power in the late 1990s, carrying out hundreds of kidnappings and hitting infrastructure such as oil pipelines.The ELN ranks have since declined from around 4,000 to an estimated 1,500 to 2,000, suffering defeats at the hands of the security forces and paramilitaries.However, in October 2009, ELN rebels were able to spring one of their leaders from jail, indicating that they were not a completely spent force.In recent years ELN units have become involved in the drugs trade, often forming alliance with criminal gangs.The group is on US and European lists of terrorist organisations.Shortly after the Farc entered into peace talks with the Colombian government in November 2012, the ELN leader said that his group was also interested in negotiating a deal with the government.The group was rebuffed by the president, who said it needed to show actions rather than words before it could sit down at the negotiating table.Nine months later, after the release of a Canadian mining executive the ELN had been holding, President Juan Manual Santos said the government "was ready to talk" to the ELN.

The talks mark the fifth effort to make peace with the ELN, after a string of failed attempts in the 1990s and 2000s.The  Dutch journalists abducted last weekend by rebels in Colombia have been released after a day of conflicting reports about their fat on June 21, 2017.

The fighting, which over the years drew in various rebel and paramilitary groups and drug gangs as well as state forces, has left at least 260,000 people dead, according to authorities.Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders Saturday confirmed that two reporters had been freed by ELN rebels in Colombia. The ELN, with 1,500 fighters, is the last guerrilla group still active in Colombia.Officials feared the high-profile kidnapping could disrupt peace talks between the ELN and the Colombian government.In June 21, 2017 ,two Dutch journalists abducted last weekend by rebels in Colombia have been released after a day of conflicting reports about their fate.Derk Bolt and Eugenio Follender were handed over to a delegation from the Colombian Ombudsman's Office, the agency confirmed in a tweet.National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels said they had freed them  but later retracted the announcement.Fears were raised for peace talks between the rebels and the government.They had thought they were being robbed when they were kidnapped. They were kept hidden in houses but one day they were made to walk for 14 hours to evade the army.The negotiations with the National Liberation Army (ELN) - the country's last active rebel group - mark a new milestone in the Colombian peace process, after President Juan Manuel Santos's government sealed an historic accord with the country's largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), in November this year .

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