The United States has removed a former Colombian Marxist rebel group from a list of foreign terrorist organizations.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement Tuesday the move came five years after a U.S.-Colombia agreement “formally dissolved and disarmed” the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC.
“It no longer exists as a unified organization that engages in terrorism or terrorist activity, Blinken said.
Blinken said revoking FARC’s designation does not affect U.S. charges or potential charges against the group’s former leaders. FARC was responsible for thousands of kidnappings and murders.
He also said the move will make it easier for the U.S. to support the deal’s implementation in parts of Colombia where disbanded FARC guerrillas are located.
While the 2016 accord has significantly reduced violence, FARC guerrillas and members of other armed groups continue to engage in violent activity.
The U.S also designated the two rebel groups formed from FARC, La Segunda Marquetalia and FARC-EP, as terrorist groups.
“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.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse.