In a video released this weekend, that was reported to have been recorded on March 24, 2012, the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Iván Márquez, claimed that the rebel group has not been weakened. Márquez also said that the group “continues ready to fight.” The video was released after a campaign by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to make the FARC appear weakened.
Just hours after the video was released on Saturday the FARC mounted an ambush against the Colombian military killing six Colombian soldiers. Three of the leftist rebels were also killed during the ambush. A Colombian military patrol was attacked by the rebels as it manned a checkpoint on the road leading from the provincial capital, Quibdo, to Colombia’s second largest city, Medellin, according to BBC News.
The Colombian soldiers were killed by explosive devices, according to Army General Hernan Giraldo. Three of the rebels were also killed during the clashes Giraldo said.
Last month at least 69 members of the FARC were killed in military actions against the rebel group. Last November top leader Alfonso Cano was also killed during a military action. Despite these losses, Márquez claims the rebels have not been weakened. This operation carried out by the FARC rebels was likely a display of power and a representation that they have not been weakened.
Despite these losses and declarations that lean towards the peaceful end of the table the FARC remains very influential in rural areas of Colombia due to its money gained through the cocaine trade. The rebels have been fighting against the Colombian government for five decades in an attempt to establish a Communist government.