US officially pulls Colombian rebels FARC off foreign terror group list

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NS The State Department announced on Tuesday That it had officially removed the far-left insurgent group Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) from the list of foreign terrorist organizations.

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The announcement came on the fifth anniversary of an agreement reached between the FARC and the Colombian government to end more than 50 years of fighting.

According to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the FARC “formally dissolved and disarmed” following the 2016 treaty, and the insurgent group is no longer a unified organization “that engages in terrorism or terroristic activity or has the ability or intention to do so.” ”

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Blinken said the removal of the foreign terrorist group’s designation from the FARC does not affect criminal charges that have been or may be brought by the US against the rebel group’s lifelong leaders.

Nor, the secretary continued, does the move undo decisions by a special Colombian court “which found their actions a crime against humanity.”

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FARC was first designated as a terrorist organization by the US in 1997. In its place, Blinken announced foreign terrorist organization designations for two different groups, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – the People’s Army (FARC-EP), and the Segunda Marquetalia, as well as their respective leaders.

Both the separate groups were established in 2019 and since then they are engaged in terrorist activities in the South American nation. According to Blinken, both organizations have targeted former members of the FARC as well as political leaders for murder and kidnapping.

According to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the FARC was “formally dissolved and disarmed” following the 2016 treaty.
Luis Robio / AFP via Getty Images

The move to remove FARC from the foreign terrorist list was first reported by Wall Street Journal last week, Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who called the FARC “an organization of Marxist-Leninist narco-terrorists”.

“For decades they have killed, kidnapped and extorted Colombians,” Cruz tweeted last week. “They have killed and confiscated American citizens. They remain a serious threat to Colombian security and to American interests throughout the region.

“The removal of FARC from the list of terrorist organizations would encourage them to escalate their violence and interfere in civilian activities,” he said.

On Monday, Colombian-born National Security Council member Juan S. gonzalez defended this move In an interview with NBC News.

“It does not condone anything that FARC has done in the last 52 years. This, Gonzalez said, is shifting the tools of the US government to focus on organizations that are still involved in terrorist activities. “If a guerrilla group, through an agreement, disarms and demilitarizes and becomes politically involved, that is ultimately what you want to do and what you want to encourage, and it sends a signal that these processes can produce an outcome that can lead to peace.

“Unfortunately, it has been misrepresented, and has become part of a political debate about who we should be – based on facts.”

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