Its. Marco RubioMarco Antonio Rubio Human Rights Groups Sound Alarm Over Interpol Elections Senators Call For Smithsonian Women’s And Latino Museums To Be Built On The National Mall On The Money – House Democrats Pass Big Bill by Biden MORE (R-Fla.) He said Wednesday that removing the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) would threaten the security of Colombia and the United States.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the Biden administration plans to remove the FARC from the FTO in an effort to show that the United States supports the delicate peace agreement with the guerrillas in Colombia.
The newspaper quoted US and congressional officials with knowledge of the next announcement that they said will be made no later than November 30, five years after then-President Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC rebels negotiated the peace agreement.
The FARC, which was founded in 1964, was behind attacks on various towns, summary executions and kidnappings of thousands of people, some of whom were Americans, according to the Journal. The coalition was added to the FTO in 1997.
Rubio, in a statement Wednesday, said he received a notice that the State Department will remove the FARC from the FTO and opposed the measure.
“The Biden administration’s decision to remove the FARC from the list of foreign terrorist organizations runs the risk of emboldening narco-terrorists and the regimes that sponsor them throughout our region,” Rubio said. “Congress must hold hearings on this decision to examine what it means for stability in the hemisphere, as well as the security interests of the United States and Colombia,” he added.
“Colombia has endured decades of pain and suffering due to the heinous terrorist attacks led by the FARC,” he added.
The news that the Biden government removed the FARC from the FTO comes after years of lobbying by Colombian officials who brokered the deal with the FARC, the Journal reported. They had been urging US officials to remove the group from the terrorist list behind closed doors.
Officials told the Journal that by removing the group from the terrorist list, the United States is recognizing the efforts that the rebels have made to turn their coalition into a political party, which is now known as the Common People’s Party.
The measure will also allow the United States to fund programs in Colombia that former FARC members are part of, including substituting legal products for crops that were used to produce cocaine, the Journal noted.
However, the administration plans to include militant groups made up of former FARC members on the terrorist list, the Journal reported. One such coalition is the Nueva Marquetalia group, which is reportedly headed by a former FARC commander who broke away from the peace accord.
The administration is also reportedly targeting a coalition of former FARC rebels that still uses the group’s name.
United Nations Secretary General António Guterres stressed Tuesday the importance of improving opportunities for former FARC members.