Colombia’s FARC to Get Removed from US List of Terrorist Groups

The US State Department has decided to remove the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) from its list of groups deemed terrorist organizations five years after the rebel group has signed the historic peace agreement with the Colombian government.

A congressional source informed on Tuesday that the State Department has notified Congress on the decision which comes on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the peace pact between FARC and the Colombian government that led to the group’s disarmament and dissolvement after decades of fighting.

State Department spokesman Ned Price has confirmed notifying the Congress without confirming the actual action being planned, adding only that Biden administration is committed to the 2016 peace deal – that won the then-Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Nobel Peace Prize for the effort – and its implementation and preservation.

The deal has ultimately put an end to the 53 years-long armed conflict that left an estimated 260,000 people dead, 80% of which were at the hands of drug trade-tied right-wing militias while another 12% were at the hands of the government itself.

The Marxist-Leninist guerrilla FARC, which is now a legal political party known simply as The Commons, counted at least 18,000 fighters that controlled almost one-quarter of the Andean country at its height but had slowly lost ground after the Colombian military was heavily armed by the US and got supported by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Meanwhile, FARC’s presence on the US terrorist list created barriers to the complete reintegration of members of the now-legal party since the US Treasury had kept sanctions active despite the UN Verification Mission in Colombia reporting in late September that although 98% of the FARC’s members remain committed to peace, 46% of them are still unemployed.

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