Unauthorized Abortion: Life For Women Inside A Colombian Marxist Rebel Group

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Women who are part of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – FARC – are forced to have abortions according to The Washington Post but not The New York Times.

In a piece titled, “In A Rebel Camp in Colombia, Marx and Free Love Reign,” The New York Times describes sexual relations between FARC rebels as something that merely requires the “permission” of a “commander.”

The Washington Post subsequently points out the troubling nature of such hierarchical relationships in pointing out that women fighters get certain “special privileges like a ‘staff’ job, better food, alcohol or medical treatment, ability to have children and leave them with their families rather than with complete strangers, or the commuting of a court-martial sentence.”

The Post even cites the account of a young FARC fighter who was told she was going to a doctor for a check-up regarding her pregnancy and walked out only realizing afterward that her pregnancy had been terminated without her consent.

Besides abortions, FARC commanders forced girls as young as 12 to use IUDs upon their joining the rebel fighters. If IUDs do not work and a female FARC member is not forced to have an abortion, they are forced to part ways with their child who would be deemed a distraction from fighting.

In spite of the the atrocious manner in which the FARC treats women in its organization, the rebel group is described in a romantic manner by The New York Times which states:

“While marriage is unknown here, relationships among guerrillas are common. The man asks his commander for permission, just as many rural Colombians would ask the father for a woman’s hand. When the two want to have sex, they tell the commander and then slip off into the woods, with palm fronds for bedding.”

Currently FARC negotiators and Colombian government officials failed to reach a peace agreement by their own self-imposed deadline of Wednesday. Had a peace been negotiated, it would have brought an end to the longest-running conflict in Latin America.

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