President Joe Biden’s decision to remove the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) from the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations this week will help the still active guerrillas “fill the ranks,” the executive director of the Center for a Secure Free Society ( SFS), Joseph Humire, told Breitbart News this week.
Humire, an expert on terrorist threats in Latin America, called the decision a “mistake” that will help legitimize both the FARC and “their facilitators in Venezuela, the Maduro regime”.
The FARC is a nearly 60-year-old communist narco-terrorist organization responsible for a war that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. The group is responsible for a long list of actions that meet the legal definition of crimes against humanity, including mass killings, kidnappings, use of child soldiers, forced abortions and systematic sex crimes. against minors. Documented evidence has revealed close links between the FARC leadership and the socialist regime of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, Iran and its terrorist proxy Hezbollah, as well as a variety of nefarious drug trafficking operations across the Americas.
Biden’s State Department announcement that he would remove the FARC from its list of official terrorist groups follows the fifth anniversary of a “peace deal” between the government of then-President Juan Manuel Santos and senior FARC leaders, which allowed the party to receive unchallenged seats in Congress and the creation of a separate tribunal to deal with FARC crimes, independent of the Colombian judiciary. The peace deal, which the Colombian people rejected in a referendum, preceded skyrocketing rates of cocaine cultivation and inordinate violence from left-wing mobs in major cities, which Colombian officials have reported. linked to FARC members.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the delisting of the FARC organization at the same time as the registration of two new alleged organizations: the “FARC-EP” (“Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army”) and ” Second Marquetalía ”. FARC-EP is the official name of FARC, while Second Marquetalía is the name of the current terrorist campaign announced by FARC leaders in 2020. The use of FARC-EP is an apparent attempt to differentiate political leaders from FARC who run their legal political party. , now known as “communes(“Commoners”), and FARC leaders responsible for violent attacks. Colombian leaders have also attempted to distinguish between the FARC and the political “dissidents” of the FARC.
“Obviously, the FARC have not given up on terrorism, but the Biden administration tries to distinguish between ex-FARC combatants who have demobilized and those who are still fighting, in effect referred to as ‘dissidents.’ Humire explained. “This term ‘FARC-D’ is what the [U.S. government] uses, and the Colombian government has a similar term in Spanish – “GAO-R” – but it is important to keep in mind that the FARC is still called the FARC, without the other designations of “dissidents” or “”residuals. ‘”
Humire warned that the FARC’s “name game” could lead to loopholes in the way the United States imposes sanctions and other punitive restrictions on the terrorists in question.
“La Segunda Marquetalia is more of a coalition of various FARC dissident groups than a replacement of their name. So what if the Segundo Marquetalia changes the name of the coalition, then does the administration have to re-designate… again? Asked the expert.
The designations, he continued, also have the effect of “legitimizing the FARC, including all dissidents and their facilitators in Venezuela, the Maduro regime.” The administration might not see it that way – but the effect is the same – and this is evident as all Chavistas who have been sanctioned for dealing with the FARC must also be deregistered. Including those charged with narco-terrorism.
Citing his own conversations with those on the front lines of the FARC assault on Colombia, Humire told Breitbart News that Colombian police and soldiers face “almost daily attacks.”
“The military estimates that there are currently over 2,700+ armed militants, 1,700+ residual forces and around 1,000 others in Venezuela,” he explained. “If you add that up, it means that the FARC-D has around 5,400 dissident fighters and is in the process of rebuilding their militant armed structure in Colombia and Venezuela. It’s about half the size of the FARC when they signed the peace accord in 2016, but they are growing. “
“Dismissing Administrator Biden from the FARC will help them fill the ranks,” Humire predicted.
Other reports from Colombia also suggest a growing FARC presence and an increase in violence in the country. The Colombian government itself said this week that it estimates that 100 Colombian municipalities have entered a situation of “critical” risk because of what the Colombian magazine Semana “The weakening of state authority” against the FARC in these regions. FARC “dissidents” have increased their presence in at least 172 territories, government officials said.
Colombian newspaper the weather reported last week an increase in violent attacks by the FARC nationwide and a surge in drug-related crimes, apparently linked to the FARC, in at least 67 municipalities that had not previously documented a presence significant of the FARC. The newspaper named “Dissidents of the FARC, ELN [the National Liberation Army, another communist terrorist group]”And“ criminal gangs ”responsible for the violence.
The reports do not match the image Secretary of State Blinken painted in his delisting announcement from the FARC, who claimed that the group “no longer exists as a unified organization that engages in terrorism … or has the capacity to do so. “
The Colombian government expressed dismay at Biden’s new policy this week, saying it continues to view the FARC as a threat as well.
“We would have preferred another decision,” lamented President Iván Duque, “but knowing this, we are focusing today on confronting dissidents, confronting these groups and, as the United States has said, those who have charges against them in their courts, the proceedings are continuing.
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