Bill Text: FL S0160 | 2023 | Regular Session | Enrolled

Bill Title: Redesignation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Republican 2-1)

Status: (Passed) 2023-06-07 - Signed by Officers and filed with Secretary of State [S0160 Detail]

Download: Florida-2023-S0160-Enrolled.html
       2023 Legislature                                   CS for SM 160
    2         A memorial to the United States Department of State,
    3         urging the United States Secretary of State to
    4         redesignate the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
    5         (FARC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization pursuant to
    6         section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as
    7         amended.
    9         WHEREAS, Colombia is among the oldest standing democracies
   10  in Latin America, and
   11         WHEREAS, the United States established diplomatic relations
   12  with Colombia in 1822, and
   13         WHEREAS, Colombia is a constitutional republic where the
   14  people of Colombia hold the power and elect representatives to
   15  exercise that power, and
   16         WHEREAS, in October 1997, the United States Department of
   17  State designated the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
   18  (FARC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, and
   19         WHEREAS, after many years of violence and armed conflict,
   20  Colombia is now the United States’ strongest ally in Latin
   21  America, and
   22         WHEREAS, with the support of the United States through Plan
   23  Colombia and the State of Florida, Colombia has transformed from
   24  a volatile and near-failed state in 2001 into a stable and
   25  prosperous democracy with a growing free market, and
   26         WHEREAS, May 15, 2023, will mark the 11-year anniversary of
   27  the effective date of the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion
   28  Agreement, which has supported economic growth and employment
   29  opportunities in Colombia, the United States, and the State of
   30  Florida, and
   31         WHEREAS, the State of Florida is responsible for roughly 25
   32  percent of all trade between the United States and Colombia, and
   33         WHEREAS, the United States, the State of Florida, and
   34  Colombia have shared a commitment to promoting security,
   35  prosperity, human rights, and democracy in Colombia and across
   36  the Western Hemisphere, and
   37         WHEREAS, in recent years, the Colombian government has
   38  taken courageous steps to enforce the law, stop drug
   39  traffickers, and rein in foreign terrorist organizations like
   40  the National Liberation Army (ELN) and FARC, and
   41         WHEREAS, the State of Florida continues to support the
   42  Colombian people in their efforts to preserve peace, support
   43  human rights defenders, promote greater educational
   44  opportunities, increase public and private investments, and
   45  respect human rights and the rule of law, and
   46         WHEREAS, the United States maintains a strong commitment to
   47  cooperating with Colombia to investigate, arrest, and prosecute
   48  members of transnational criminal organizations and to dismantle
   49  terrorist groups like the ELN, FARC, and Hezbollah, whose
   50  illicit activities, specifically narcotrafficking, for many
   51  years devastated Colombia and other Western Hemisphere
   52  countries, and
   53         WHEREAS, Colombia has been an essential partner to the
   54  United States in continuing efforts to support the courageous
   55  people of Venezuela in their fight for freedom, democracy, and
   56  economic prosperity against the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro,
   57  and
   58         WHEREAS, enemies of freedom, such as the communist regime
   59  in Cuba and the Maduro regime in Venezuela, exploit and abuse
   60  vulnerable individuals and perpetrate human rights abuses, such
   61  as torture, arbitrary killings, and imprisonment, while also
   62  promoting violent unrest, vandalism, and destruction of property
   63  against individuals simply asking to be heard, and
   64         WHEREAS, in December 2021, the Biden Administration revoked
   65  the designation of the FARC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization,
   66  and
   67         WHEREAS, the FARC has murdered, tortured, and kidnapped
   68  innocent Colombians and Americans, including kidnap victims and
   69  United States citizens Marc D. Gonsalves, Thomas R. Howes, and
   70  Keith Stansell, as well as American Thomas Janis, who was
   71  murdered, and has committed other crimes and gross violations of
   72  human rights, and
   73         WHEREAS, the FARC subvert democratic institutions and those
   74  who defend them, and
   75         WHEREAS, the FARC has committed and supported acts of
   76  terrorism and continues to do so, and
   77         WHEREAS, the Colombian electorate in 2016 defeated a
   78  referendum that would have enacted a deal with the FARC, and
   79         WHEREAS, the Colombian government later ratified an
   80  agreement with the FARC without the approval of the electorate,
   83  Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   85         That the Florida Legislature declares its firm commitment
   86  to Colombia, a longstanding ally of the United States in Latin
   87  America, and opposes the Biden Administration’s revocation of
   88  the FARC’s designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
   89         BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Florida Legislature urges
   90  the United States Secretary of State to redesignate the FARC as
   91  a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
   92         BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of State dispatch
   93  copies of this memorial to the President of the United States,
   94  the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the
   95  United States House of Representatives, the United States
   96  Secretary of State, and each member of the Florida delegation to
   97  the United States Congress.