The FARC are no longer considered terrorists, but they maintain a kind of ‘toxicity’ | International | News

The withdrawal from the terrorist list does not include dissidents from the peace agreement.

In 2016, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed a peace agreement with the State, officially ending more than 50 years as one of the main protagonists of violence in the South American country.

The fact that the main guerrilla in the country laid down its arms was recognized even with the Nobel Peace Prize -to give a boost to then-president Juan Manuel Santos-, and after five years, despite the fact that some of its dissident members have Returned to armed “struggle” while others try to enter politics – with the Comunes party – or re-enter society, the US this week removed the group from its list of terrorist groups.

This, according to Colombian analyst Sergio Guzmán, is the natural conclusion of the peace agreement and now five years later it is evident that the former FARC disappeared and now they are a political actor called Comunes – they have representation in both houses of Congress, according to the provisions of the pact – that although They are no longer considered terrorists if they must answer to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) and the Truth Commission for what they did.

“They may be talking to different protagonists, but the Comunes party is a toxic party. They have no political future, other than the one granted by the peace agreement, but they do not figure in the political future of the country, ”adds Guzmán.

Comunes has even been removed from the Historical Pact, which is the coalition that is forming the center-left and left in the country with a view to next year’s elections and whose possible candidate is Gustavo Petro, former mayor of Bogotá and former M-19 guerrilla (demobilized in 1990).

To Elizabeth Dickinson, Senior Analyst for Colombia at the International Crisis Group, the US decision is important and late, since it is a recognition that the majority of ex-combatants are committed to the peace process and reintegrating into civilian life.

“(This) leaves more economic opportunities for ex-combatants who up to now have had many challenges in having access to the banking system, for example, for collective sustainability projects … they have had records of taking bank accounts due to State Department sanctions. from the United States. It has also complicated political reintegration because some Commons party officials and even those who are members of the Senate and the House of Representatives (something provided in the signed agreement) have not been able to manage due to money issues (for this matter) “, he points out Dickinson.

She adds that it is also a political sign that the North American country continues to commit itself to supporting the fulfillment and implementation of the peace agreement.

As the guerrilla was included in the list, its members were prohibited from entering the United States and their access to the international financial system, based on the dollar, was restricted, among other punitive actions, he recalls. EFE.

Rodrigo Londoño, alias Timochenko, the last FARC commander, thanked the US Government for removing the defunct Colombian guerrilla from its black list of terrorist groups and also described that decision as recognition of the ex-combatants’ commitment to the peace agreement.

The US State Department (the equivalent of a Ministry of Foreign Affairs in other countries) had the FARC on its blacklist of terrorist groups since 1997, but now withdraws it by assuring that “it no longer exists as a unified organization. ”.

However, this decision does not eliminate charges in the US for drug trafficking and other crimes that exist or may arise in the future against former members of the FARC.

Antony Blinken explained that the idea is “to better support the implementation of the 2016 agreements, including in the work with demobilized combatants.”

Rodrigo Londoño, alias Timochenko, the last commander of the FARC, thanked the US Government for removing the disappeared Colombian guerrilla from its black list of terrorist groups and also described that decision as a recognition of the commitment of the ex-combatants to the peace agreement.

Meanwhile, the Government of Colombia celebrated that despite the decision, two FARC dissidents are included on the black list of terrorist groups in the United States because it considers that this qualifier is the one that describes them.

“We celebrate that determination that the dissidents (…) the Second Marquetalia be declared as terrorists, they have no other qualifier, no other adjective.”

The State Department indicated that it included in the list of terrorist organizations two groups of guerrilla dissidents who are led by Luciano Marín Arango, aliases Ivan Marquez, and known as the Second Marquetalia, as well as the group led by Miguel Botache Santanilla, alias Gentle Duarte.

Gentil Duarte He was one of the first former FARC chiefs to walk away from the peace accords between the government and the former guerrilla before they were concluded.

Ivan Marquez, who was the chief peace negotiator for that guerrilla, as well as Hernán Darío Velásquez, alias the Paisa, and other former FARC chiefs abandoned the peace agreement and on August 29, 2019, announced their return to arms, alleging a “state betrayal of the Havana peace agreement.” (I)

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The FARC are no longer considered terrorists, but they maintain a kind of ‘toxicity’ | International | News