Annual turnover – $ 600 million.
Main funding sources: drug production and drug trafficking, kidnapping and ransom, mining of minerals (especially gold), fees and taxes.
Purpose: elimination of the capitalist regime and the establishment of a Marxist-socialist welfare
FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia), is an underground Marxist and anti-imperialist activist and a key player in the bloody struggle that’s ravaged Columbia for more than 50 years.
Although it lost some of its power in recent years, due to a series of assassination and arrests of senior activists, it is still considered the largest underground organization and strongest in Colombia. At the same time it is also a significant political player and the government has negotiated with FARC for years, hoping to end the bloody conflict. The organization currently controls approximately 30% of the territory of Colombia, especially in the jungles of the south-east of the country, where it directs one of the largest drug trafficking networks in the world. A special report by the US Department of Justice estimated that the production and trade network established by FARC is responsible for more than 50% of the global cocaine trade, and that 60% of the cocaine smuggled from Colombia to the United States comes from the organization’s drug laboratories. In total, according to estimates, FARC generates about $500 million a year from drug deals alone.
Another way in which the Colombian guerrilla organization finances its activities is kidnapping and ransom collection, mainly of wealthy businessmen and public figures (a tactic applied for political purposes). In 2008 Amnesty International estimated that about 700 people are held captive by the organization. Other estimates put the number of people who were abducted by FARC between 1997 to 2007 at 6,800.
FARC is also involved in the illegal mining of minerals (mainly gold), the collection of taxes and transfer fees and protection money – with a total turnover estimated at tens of millions of dollars annually.