The Biden administration on Tuesday officially removed the rebel Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) from the list of foreign terrorist organizations.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the announcement in a press statement.
In saying FARC also no longer will be a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT), Blinken added that two new Colombian groups — People's Army (FARC-EP) and Segunda Marquetalia — will be added to the lists.
"The designation of FARC-EP and Segunda Marquetalia is directed at those who refused to demobilize and those who are engaged in terrorist activity," Blinken said in the statement.
News about the State Department's intention to remove FARC from the list of foreign terrorist organizations surfaced last week and drew outrage from Florida politicians and activists.
Florida state Sen. Annette Taddeo, one of an estimated 150,000 Colombian-American voters, quickly took to Twitter to express her disgust with the news.
"When I was 17 years old I was forced to flee Colombia, the only country I ever knew, because of the Marxist terrorist organization, FARC, a group of militias who kidnapped my father who was a WWII American fighter pilot," tweeted Taddeo, a Democrat running for governor.
"This news is outrageous, and I just hung up with the State department to let them know just how outrageous it is."
The State Department said that FARC formally dissolved and disarmed after a 2016 peace accord with the Colombian government.
"It no longer exists as a unified organization that engages in terrorism or terrorist activity or has the capability or intent to do so," Blinken’s statement said.
The statement added, "The decision to revoke the designation does not change the posture with regards to any charges or potential charges in the United States against former leaders of the FARC, including for narcotrafficking, nor does it remove the stain of the decision by Colombia’s Special Jurisdiction of Peace, which found their actions to be crimes against humanity."
The State Department said that removing FARC from the terrorist list will help the U.S. to better support implementation of the 2016 accord.
Segunda Marquetalia was created by former FARC commanders in August 2019 after abandoning the peace accord. The group has since engaged in terrorist activity, kidnappings, and is responsible for the killings of former FARC members and community leaders, the State Department said.
FARC-EP is responsible for the vast majority of armed attacks attributed to FARC dissident elements since 2019, the department said. Members have killed political candidates and former FARC members.
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