The Florida Senators, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott they sent this Wednesday a letter to the president Joe Biden in which they criticize his decision to remove the Farc from the Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list.
In the letter, known to this newspaper, the congressmen declare themselves concerned and say that it is a step backwards for the stability of Colombia that will give the terrorists and their sympathizers capacities, financial resources and legitimacy to those who want to destabilize a very ally. near.
“Keeping the FARC on the list is critical to assure Americans that their taxes do not finance terrorists abroad or support their Marxist political sympathizers who seek to weaken Colombia,” they also say in the letter.
This Tuesday the Biden administration announced the withdrawal of the Farc from the US terrorist list. but the new designation of two factions formed by former members of the group who, in his opinion, are the ones that continue with terrorist activities: Nueva Marquetalia, led by Iván Márquez, and the FARC-EP.
Likewise, the administration clarified that the members of the Farc that have pending debts with the US justice will continue to be in the sights of the authorities.
But according to Rubio and Scott that differentiation between “good members and bad members of the Farc” is only cosmetic because many elements of the Farc have continued with terrorist actions despite the peace agreement which was signed with the group in 2016.
In the letter, lawmakers ask Biden to answer a series of questions. Among them, it establishes the criteria used by the State Department to determine who were considered dissident groups of the Farc and if the Department of Defense and the National Intelligence Directorate were consulted at the time of removing the Farc and including the new groups. .
Likewise, if this decision is an indicator of some change in the administration in the face of other violent groups that have retained a political component that they say is different from their militant arm, such as Hamas, Hezbollah or the Taliban.
Although the senators say they share with Biden the aspirations of a peaceful and prosperous Colombia, they maintain that the decision adopted is counterproductive in the face of this objective.
“Instead of promoting reconciliation with former combatants, we fear that this decision will only strengthen those within the FARC who reject the peace efforts as well as their political wing in Bogotá. It is unacceptable to give concessions to a group that attacks innocent civilians, kidnap Americans, try to assassinate elected officials and defend a dangerous and illegitimate regime in Venezuela, “they state in the letter.
Although they do not say it with their own name, the allusion to the “political arm of the Farc in Bogotá” is a reference to Comunes, the party founded by members of the group who demobilized since 2016.
SERGIO GÓMEZ MASERI
EL TIEMPO correspondent