FARC: Donald Trump takes aim at Joe Biden moves

Image copyright AFP Image caption John Stemberger is a staunch opponent of recognition of the group’s victims

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has lashed out at a move by former Vice President Joe Biden to get the FARC rebel group delisted from the US terrorism list.

Mr Biden told a gathering of Colombian-Americans that he was hoping the group would be delisted within a week.

FARC has already acknowledged responsibility for thousands of deaths and kidnappings.

The FARC also describes itself as Marxist-Leninist and says it wants a political presence.

DeSantis response to the moves by the former vice president Mr Biden came in a tweet.

It read: “Disappointed in VP Biden’s statement today that he hopes the FARC will be de-listed from the terrorist list in a matter of days. This would be a slap in the face to Colombian-Americans who suffered from this violent group in our state and around the country.”

There was also a ‘lively debate’ on the panel

The FARC is believed to have about 9,000 armed members.

Mr Biden said the group’s “genocide” against the population was ending.

Colombia has officially been delisting the group since 2017, because of FARC’s deal to end 52 years of war with the government.

The group also agreed to end the recruitment of minors.

In a panel at the Colombian-American Society of Boston conference in Florida on Friday, John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, said while he supported reaching a peace deal, he was concerned about certain terms, such as issues of human rights violations.

“It was a hard deal to get, but we got there,” Mr Stemberger told the Press Association.

“I am very concerned that we get this designation removed, because it will cause harm to our citizens.”

Canaccord Genuity analyst Soomit Datta added: “All parties realised the importance of resolving the conflict before another formal truce period in 2019 would conflict with US defence spending priorities in counter-terrorism activities.”

The US government makes it a crime to provide support to an insurgent group.

Peace talks between the FARC and the Colombian government reached a breakthrough agreement in late 2016, leading to a ceasefire in November 2017.

The original agreement led to the creation of a rebel political party, the FARC-EP, in March 2018. The first congress of the new party will be held in August.

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