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Inside InsurgencyViolence, Civilians, and Revolutionary Group Behavior$
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Claire Metelits

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814795774

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814795774.001.0001

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From Jekyll to Hyde

From Jekyll to Hyde

The Transformation of the FARC

(p.79) 4 From Jekyll to Hyde
Inside Insurgency

Claire Metelits

NYU Press

This chapter traces the development of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), from a group that found its roots in peasant self-defense organizations that supported better working conditions for peasant farmers to its growth as an independent insurgency with resources springing from drug trafficking and extortion. The FARC initially maximized its legitimacy among its targeted membership by providing services for peasants, such as protection against the harsh policies of some large landowners and education in exchange for food and supplies. At the end of the 1980s, despite its involvement in the illicit-drug industry, the FARC continued to have a contractual relationship with local residents. However, by the late 1990s, this peasant-based insurgent group had become extremely violent in its treatment of the rural population it had previously protected.

Keywords:   FARC, self-defense organizations, independent insurgency, drug trafficking, extortion, Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia

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