The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People's Army (, FARC–EP and FARC) is a guerrilla movement involved in the continuing Colombian armed conflict since 1964. It has been known to employ a variety of military tactics in addition to more unconventional methods, including terrorism. The FARC-EP, which formed during the Cold War period as a Marxist-Leninist peasant force, promotes a political line of agrarianism and anti-imperialism. The operations of the FARC–EP were funded by kidnap and ransom; illegal mining; extortion and/or taxation of various forms of economic activity; and the taxation, production, and distribution of illegal drugs.
The strength of the FARC–EP forces is indeterminate; in 2007, the FARC said they were an armed force of 18,000 men and women; in 2010, the Colombian military calculated that FARC forces consisted of approximately 13,800 members, 50 percent of whom were armed guerrilla combatants; and, in 2011, the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, said that FARC–EP forces comprised fewer than 10,000 members. In 2013 it was reported that 26,648 FARC and ELN members had decided to demobilize since 2002. According to a report from Human Rights Watch, approximately 20–30% of the recruits are minors, most of whom are forced to join the FARC. The greatest concentrations of FARC forces are in the southeastern, northern and southwestern regions of Colombia's of jungle, in the plains at the base of the Andean mountain chain and in northwestern Colombia. However, the FARC and the ELN ( National Liberation Army of Colombia) lost control of much of the territory, especially in urban areas, forcing them to relocate to remote areas in the jungle and the mountains .
In 1964, the FARC–EP were established as the military wing of the Colombian Communist Party (Partido Comunista Colombiano, PCC), after the Colombian military attacked rural communist enclaves in the aftermath of The Violence ( La Violencia, ca. 1948–58). The FARC are a violent non-state actor (VNSA) whose formal recognition as legitimate belligerent forces is disputed by some organizations. As such, the FARC has been classified as a terrorist organization by the governments of Colombia, the United States, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, and the European Union; whereas the governments of Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, and Nicaragua do not. In 2008, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez recognized the FARC–EP as a proper army. President Chávez also asked the Colombian government and their allies to recognize the FARC as a belligerent force, arguing that such political recognition would oblige the FARC to forgo kidnapping and terrorism as methods of civil war and to abide by the Geneva Convention. Juan Manuel Santos, the current President of Colombia, has followed a middle path by recognizing in 2011 that there is an "armed conflict" in Colombia although his predecessor, Alvaro Uribe, strongly disagreed. In 2012, FARC announced they would no longer participate in kidnappings for ransom and released the last ten soldiers and police officers they kept as prisoners, but it has kept silent about the status of hundreds of civilians still reported as hostages, and continued kidnapping soldiers and civilians. In February 2008, millions of Colombians demonstrated against the FARC.
In 2012, the FARC made 239 attacks on the energy infrastructure. However, the FARC have shown signs of fatigue. As of 2014, the FARC are not seeking to engage in outright combat with the army, instead concentrating on small-scale ambushes against isolated army units. Meanwhile, since 2008, the FARC have opted to attack police patrols with home-made mortars, sniper rifles, and explosives, as they are not considered strong enough to engage police units directly. This follows the trend of the 1990s during the strengthening of Colombian government forces.
On June 23, 2016, the FARC signed a ceasefire accord with the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos in Havana. Although a final peace agreement will require a referendum, this accord has been seen as a historic step to ending the war that has gone on for fifty years.