The Colombian conflict began in the mid-1960s and is a low-intensity asymmetric war between the government of Colombia, paramilitary groups, crime syndicates and communist guerrillas such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and the National Liberation Army (ELN), fighting each other to increase their influence in Colombian territory. The most important international contributors to the Colombian conflict are multinational corporations and the government of the United States.It is historically rooted in the conflict known as La Violencia, which was triggered by the 1948 assassination of populist political leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, and in the aftermath of United States-backed strong anti-communist repression in rural Colombia in the 1960s that led liberal and communist militants to re-organize into FARC. The reasons for fighting vary from group to group. The FARC and other guerrilla movements claim to be fighting for the rights of the poor in Colombia to protect them from government violence and to provide social justice through communism. The Colombian government claims to be fighting for order and stability, and to protect the rights and interests of its citizens. The paramilitary groups claim to be reacting to perceived threats by guerrilla movements. All sides have engaged in drug trafficking and terrorism and have been criticized for numerous human rights violations.
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