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The United States removed the FARC from its list of terrorist organizations

The United States announced on Tuesday the withdrawal of former rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) from your list of terrorist organizations.

“The State Department is revoking the designation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

The oldest guerrilla in Latin America came to an end in 2016, when FARC leaders and representatives of the government of President Juan Manuel Santos signed a peace agreement in Bogotá.

Former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who signed the peace agreement with the FARC in 2016. Photo: AFP

The group is designated as a political party, with seats in the Colombian legislature. Colombia is currently celebrating the fifth anniversary of the signing of the peace agreement.

The European Union excluded the FARC from its list of terrorist organizations in 2017, shortly after the demobilized guerrilla signed the peace agreement and handed over more than 8,000 weapons.

However, the United States had kept the FARC on its list by warning about the danger posed by dissident groupsIn other words, those who did not join the peace process or abandoned it and then continued to commit crimes, being accused of perpetrating terrorist acts.

In its 2019 reports on terrorism, the US State Department identified the FARC dissidents as suspected of participating in an attack with explosives in which 10 police officers who participated in operations to eradicate coca plants were killed.

They also identified as suspects the National Liberation Army (ELN), an active guerrilla group that has been on the list of terrorist organizations since 1997.

Adam Isacson, an expert on Colombia at the Washington Office for Latin American Affairs (WOLA), told the AP that he assumes that the US government can choose to remove former FARC members from the list of terrorists who are legally and formed a political party, while can designate dissident groups as terrorists.

“I cannot imagine Iván Márquez or Gentil Duarte leaving the terrorist list at any time,” added Isacson, referring to two of the top leaders of the defectors.

Elizabeth Dickinson, senior analyst for Colombia at International Crisis Group, believes that this is a “late” decision, since being on the list of terrorist organizations has affected the effectiveness of the reincorporation process of ex-combatants, because some have faced barriers to access the banking system and the support of the United States for the implementation of peace has been affected.

Source: AP

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