This Strategic Dossier provides unique insights into the thinking and evolution of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). It is based on a study of the computer disks belonging to Luis Edgar Devía Silva (aka Raúl Reyes), head of FARC’s International Committee (COMINTER), that were seized by Colombian armed forces in a raid in March 2008 on Devía’s camp inside Ecuador. Several months afterwards, senior officials from the Colombian Ministry of Defence invited the IISS to conduct an independent analysis of the material.
The dossier shows how FARC evolved from a small, autarkic and strategically irrelevant group into an insurgent movement which, fuelled by revenues from narcotics production, came close to jeopardising the survival of the Colombian state. A key part of FARC’s evolution was the development of an international strategy aimed at acquiring financial support, arms and political legitimacy. The dossier looks in detail at FARC’s relations with Venezuela and Ecuador.
'This comprehensive study of FARC communications draws on a wealth of new material to offer unparalleled insights into the international relationships and strategic thinking of one of the world’s longest-running insurgencies. It is an important reminder that insurgencies are not just won or lost on the battlefield but are critically influenced by public perceptions, and often also by the covert support or sponsorship of governments.'
David Kilcullen, author of The Accidental Guerrilla and Counterinsurgency
‘The IISS analysis of FARC communications fills an important gap in our understanding of the recent history of the Andean region. It is an essential research tool.’
Malcolm Deas, St Anthony’s College, Oxford.