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

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source: nypost.com

"The decision does not change the position regarding any accusation or possible accusation against former leaders, including drug trafficking," said Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The United States government announced on Tuesday the withdrawal of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) from its list of foreign terrorist organizations, paving the way for Washington to support the implementation of the peace agreement with that demobilized rebel group, according to those indicated by the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

The FARC was formally dissolved after a 2016 peace agreement with former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos's government and ceased to exist as a unified organization dedicated to terrorism, the head of US diplomacy said in a statement.

The two dissident groups that emerged from the FARC, La Segunda Marquetalia and the FARC-EP (People's Army), were designated as foreign terrorist organizations by the White House.

"The decision to revoke the designation does not change the position regarding any accusation or possible accusation in the United States against former FARC leaders, including drug trafficking. Nor does it eliminate the stain that the decision of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace of Colombia supposes, which classified its actions as crimes against humanity, "explained Blinken, who stressed that eliminating the designation of a terrorist group will facilitate Washington to support the implementation of the peace agreement.

The decision will allow US government agencies to work on the implementation of peace in parts of Colombia where the former guerrillas who demobilized from the FARC are located.

The Colombian government applauded the decision of the United States, which will help advance the implementation of the peace agreement.

"It is a decision that further facilitates the support we receive from the United States Government on all fronts of implementation," said Emilio José Archila, senior presidential adviser for stabilization and consolidation, who accused the Second Marquetalia of the murder of some ex-FARC combatants who joined the peace agreement.

Founded in 1964, the FARC was responsible for summary executions and kidnappings of thousands of people amid an internal armed conflict that has left some 260,000 dead and millions displaced.

The agreement allowed the return to the civil life of some 13,000 rebel group members, including around 7,000 combatants.

"The designation of the FARC-EP and Segunda Marquetalia is aimed at those who refused to demobilize and those who are involved in terrorist activities," Blinken said.

According to the Military Forces, currently, some 2,400 combatants make up the FARC dissidents.

The Second Marquetalia, one of the FARC dissidents, is led by Luciano Marín, alias "Iván Márquez," who according to security sources, remains in Venezuela with the approval of the Nicolás Maduro regime, who denies it.

Hernán Darío Velásquez Saldarriaga, alias "El paisa" , is a group's senior commander and serves as a military commander. Henry Castellanos Garzón, alias "Romaña," is a senior leader of the Second Marquetalia with responsibilities in military operations.

"La Segunda Marquetalia has been involved in terrorist activities and is responsible for the murders of former FARC members and community leaders. It has also participated in the massive destruction, assassination, and hostage-taking, including the kidnapping and detention of government employees to request ransoms, "said the US Secretary of State, who denounced that this dissident group" is also responsible for attempts to murder of political leaders."

Meanwhile, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People's Army (FARC-EP) "are responsible for the vast majority of armed attacks attributed to dissident elements of the FARC since 2019." "They have also been responsible for the murder of political candidates and former members of the FARC and the kidnapping of a political operator."

This dissident group is led by Néstor Gregorio Vera Fernández, alias “Iván Mordisco” , and Miguel Santanilla Botache, alias “Gentil Duarte”. While Euclides España Caicedo, alias “Jhon Fredey Henao Muñoz” or “Jhonier”, serves as the highest ranking commander of multiple units of the FARC-EP organization in important territorial areas.

The United States also designated Marín and Duarte as specially designated global terrorists as well as several of their lieutenants, including Hernán Darío Velásquez Saldarriaga, Henry Castellanos Garzón, Néstor Gregorio Vera Fernández, and Euclides España Caicedo.

The last commander of the FARC, Rodrigo Londoño, thanked the United States government for removing the disappeared Colombian guerrilla from its black list of terrorist groups and described that decision as a recognition of the commitment of the ex-combatants to the peace agreement.

"I salute the decision of the US State Department to remove the disappeared FARC-EP from the list of terrorist organizations," Londoño, president of the Comunes party and known in his time as a guerrilla as "Timochenko," expressed on Twitter.

"It is a recognition of our commitment to peace and our rigorous compliance with what was agreed in the Peace Agreement," he added.