AP Source: US removes Colombian rebels from terrorist group list | World news

By LISA MASCARO and ELLEN KNICKMEYER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration informed Congress on Tuesday it was ending the designation of Colombia’s largest guerrilla group as a terrorist organization, according to a congressional aide who was granted anonymity to discuss of the situation.

State Department spokesman Ned Price confirmed that the United States had informed Congress of an action it was taking against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, widely known by their acronym, FARC . Price declined to say what the action was, however.

The FARC fought for half a century in an era of devastating political violence in Colombia, engaging in bombings, assassinations, kidnappings and attacks in the name of redistributing wealth to Colombia’s poor.

The group signed a peace accord in 2016 and participated in a 2018 UN-supervised decommissioning of the last of its accessible weapons. Price called the peace agreement “a turning point in some ways in the long-standing conflict in Colombia.”

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The group is now designated as a political party, with a guaranteed share of seats in the Colombian legislature.

Price noted that administration officials were in Bogota a few weeks ago, where they met with the Colombian president, foreign minister and others on the implementation and maintenance of the agreement. peace with the FARC.

Adam Isacson, a Colombian analyst at the Washington Bureau for Latin America, a human rights group in the Americas, said the Biden administration’s decision to remove the FARC from the US list of terrorist organizations was “since long time “.

Having ex-guerrillas on the list has prevented US agencies and their contractors from collaborating on development projects that include ex-combatants in rural Colombia, such as programs to clear landmines. land or efforts to replace illegal crops like the coca leaf, Isacson said.

Associated Press writer Manuel Rueda in Bogota contributed to this report.

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