USA announced this Tuesday, November 30, that it eliminated Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) from your list of terrorist organizations, with a view to “better supporting” the implementation of the peace pact sealed five years ago.
“The State Department revokes the designation of the FARC as a foreign terrorist organization“said the head of American diplomacy, Antony blinken, it’s a statement.
“Following a 2016 peace agreement with the Colombian government, the FARC was officially dissolved and disarmed. It no longer exists as a unified organization dedicated to terrorism or terrorist activities, or with the capacity or intention to do so.”
The gesture was applauded from Colombia by the former commander of the former guerrilla, Rodrigo Londoño, better known as Timochenko.
“I salute the decision of the US State Department to remove the disappeared FARC-EP from the list of terrorist organizations. It is a recognition of our commitment to peace and to our strict compliance with what was agreed in the Peace Agreement, “he wrote on Twitter.
The government of the president Joe biden had expressed its intention to remove the FARC from its list of terrorist organizations on November 23, on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the peace pact between the Colombian government and the ex-guerrilla, which led to its disarmament and dissolution after decades of fighting.
The United States officially designated the FARC as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997, in the middle of the six-decade confrontation with the Colombian State.
On November 24, 2016, after negotiations in Cuba, the guerrilla group laid down its arms and signed a peace agreement with the then Colombian president. Juan Manuel Santos.
However, the label of terrorist organization has continued to affect the former rebel group, now transformed into appolitical party.
“We celebrate that determination that the dissidents (…) the ‘Second Marquetalia’ are declared as terrorists, they have no other qualifier, another adjective, things by name: they are terrorists,” said the High Commissioner for Peace, Juan Camilo Restrepo.
Support in the implementation of the peace agreement
Blinken specified that this removal from the black list does not change the position of the United States regarding the legal proceedings initiated or future against former guerrilla leaders, including those suspected of drug trafficking.
Nor does it modify decisions of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) of Colombia, the court judges the worst crimes of a conflict that it leaves nine million victims among the dead, mutilated, kidnapped and disappeared.
“Nevertheless, facilitate the United States’ ability to better support implementation of the 2016 agreement, including working with demobilized combatants, “Blinken noted.
Some 13,000 guerrillas have surrendered their weapons since the signing of the peace agreement. Under the agreement, the FARC, a movement that took up arms in the 1960s, in the midst of the Cold War, became the Comunes political party, with guaranteed representation in parliament but without much weight at the polls. The text provides for political and agrarian reforms that must be implemented before 2031.
But although the agreement significantly reduced violence, various armed groups operate in the country, including paramilitaries, drug traffickers and other rebels, including some dissidents from the FARC itself.
Former commanders who departed from the peace agreement between the FARC leadership and the Santos government command the dissidents, whose force is estimated at 5,200 combatants, the majority (85%) new recruits, according to the Colombian Institute of Studies for the Development and Peace (Indepaz).
With information from AFP.
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