US revokes terrorist designation for Colombia’s Farc group

Farc was formally dissolved after 2016 peace accord with the Colombian government

US secretary of state Antony Blinken:  Removing the terrorist designation will make it easier for the United States to support the implementation of the peace accord, he said. Photograph: Toms Kalnins/EPA

US secretary of state Antony Blinken: Removing the terrorist designation will make it easier for the United States to support the implementation of the peace accord, he said. Photograph: Toms Kalnins/EPA

 

The United States revoked its designation of the Colombian group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia as a foreign terrorist organisation on Tuesday, secretary of state Antony Blinken said in a statement.

Farc was formally dissolved after a 2016 peace accord with the Colombian government and no longer exists as a unified organisation that engages in terrorism, Mr Blinken said.

The two dissident groups that have formed out of Farc, La Segunda Marquetalia and Farc-EP, or People’s Army, have been designated as foreign terrorist organisations, he added.

“The decision to revoke the designation does not change the posture with regards to any charges or potential charges in the United States against former leaders of the Farc, including for narcotrafficking,” Mr Blinken said in a statement.

Removing the terrorist designation will make it easier for the United States to support the implementation of the accord, he said.

The decision will allow US government agencies like the Agency for International Development to work on peace implementation in parts of Colombia where demobilised Farc soldiers are located.

Founded in 1964, Farc was responsible for summary executions and kidnappings of thousands of people, including Americans.

“The designation of Farc-EP and Segunda Marquetalia is directed at those who refused to demobilise and those who are engaged in terrorist activity,” Mr Blinken said.

The United States also designated the leaders of those organisations – Luciano Marin Arango, Hernan Dario Velasquez Saldarriaga, Henry Castellanos Garzon, Nestor Gregorio Vera Fernandez, Miguel Santanilla Botache, and Euclides Espana Caicedo – as specially designated global terrorists, he said. – Reuters