This is an attack on the Colombian military base in Miraflores in Guaviare Province. Guaviare has always been overrun by FARC, and it still is. Even today, when they are on the verge of defeat and collapse, they still control the province. Funny how that works.
This attack took place in August 2008. At this point, the capitalist world media was already saying that the FARC were on the edge of collapse, and “at their lowest point in 44 years.”
That’s manifestly untrue. That means that they are at their lowest point since 1964, when they were founded with a few dozen ragged forces. Forget it. Even in the late 1970’s, they only had 2,000 fighters or so. In 1998 they easily had 18,000 fighters. I figure a good 55,000 “militia” too. Militia are just peasant farmers and whatnot in the daytime, but at nighttime they may well be armed fighters.
The attack starts at 4:30 AM and utilizes a force of 500 troops. By 9 AM, they have seriously overrun the base and are carting away supplies. The battle continues all through the day, and by 4 PM, the military has finally sent in helicopter air support, but they can’t seem to do much. By this time, the remaining troops at the base have all been taken prisoner.
It’s not so bad to be taken prisoner by the FARC. Better than being killed. They keep you alive, don’t torture you, give you medical care, etc. If you try to escape, you get punished, but that’s how it goes. The majority of the “hostages” who have been “kidnapped” by the FARC are just POW’s like the guys seized in this video. They would not have to be held long if Colombia would agree to a POW swap, but they’ve never done that in 46 years, and they never will. Amazing, even the Israelis agree to such things.
There is nothing lower than a bourgeois Latin American, I am quite sure of that. Very uncompromising folks, if even the Zionists in Palestine have softer hearts.
This conflict is all about class, and a lot of it is about race. Notice that every time they interview a Colombian military guy on the media, he’s a White guy. A spokesman for the Colombian state is always a White person. But videos of the FARC are very interesting. Many mestizos, often dark mestizos, and many who look very Indian. And many mulattos or even Black FARC troops. Fact is that racism is endemic in the Colombian military, as is extreme and overt class hatred by the light-skinned officer class towards the darker-skinned conscripts.
Here it is two years later, and the FARC are supposedly even more collapsed than when they epic failed and captured this military base two years before. I suppose now they can only overrun half a base and take half the force POW.
Although reports of their demise seem to be premature.
I’ve gotten reports out of Colombia recently (I forget which region) but there is a government-death squad offensive in the area that has long been held by the FARC. Reports indicate that in this region, “many young people are joining the FARC every day.” Not that that matters, since they are defeated, right?
One thought on “Defeated Armies Can Still Fight Pretty Well!”
Great video and interesting read. The FARC is something else. I have always been interested in their organization and tactics. They are not only an enemy of South America’s ruling class, but a real thorn in the side for U.S “interests” in America’s own perceived backyard.
Your incite into Latin American culture, and more importantly class structure, is fascinating. Really reinforces my fear that America is turning and will turn into a “Anglo” version of a Latin American state, probably sooner that later.
Keep this stuff coming, please. It is good to hear a fellow American with socialist leanings and personal incite into Latin America give their view on things.