The Zapatista National Liberation Front (EZLN) first came into operation in 1994 when it took over a group of villages in the south of Mexico using guerrilla tactics. EZLN was named after the Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata. The group was active in an armed struggle that pitted the Mexican government (National Action Party (PAN)) against the Maya Indian people in the allocation of jobs and land. Violence continued between 1995-1999, even though various peace accords were attempted. EZLN's ideology is subject to debate. The organization claims to be Libertarian Socialist, sometimes called Social Anarchism or Left-Libertarianism, which promotes political philosophies that support a non-hierarchical, non-bureaucratic society. It also stated that it supported Marxist/Leninist ideology, and at the same time attempted to respect the individual owning-class. Libertarian Socialist movements includes most kinds of anarchism especially anarchist communism, anarchist collectivism, anarcho-syndicalism, automatism, communalism, and liberation Marxist philosophies. The Zapatistas also support the resistance in Palestine.
Peace negotiations between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) are still ongoing. FARC forces, however, are still continuing to carry out attacks on Colombian government targets and oil facilities. Kidnapping as a terrorist tool is still occurring with frequency in Colombia, with rates of kidnapping in Bogotá reported to have increased by a staggering 365% in 2012. The outcome of the peace process is now in doubt. Since the peace process negotiations have moved to Cuba, very little information has been released publicly on its proceedings. Open source outlets, however, continue to report attacks by FARC against government targets. Under attack, the Colombian government could halt the peace process, giving FARC a significant propaganda coup.
The United States has issued a kidnap threat warning to its citizens visiting the central-southern Cuzo region, including the Inca Citadel of Macho Picchu. The threat is thought to be credible until at least the end of February 2013. The terrorist organization Sendero Luminoso (SL), or Shinning Path, is thought to be behind the threat. The SL, although not as strong as it once was, has become an increasingly potent and disciplined fighting group. In April 2012, SL kidnapped 36 construction workers. All of the workers were released unharmed, but the group killed eight government authorities (including police and soldiers) who were involved in the rescue. SL is suffering from support which in turn limits its funding. Kidnapping Americans, and holding them for ransom, could be viewed by SL as a profitable source of income.
Paul Ashley is the Senior Counter-Terrorist Analyst at 361 Security