U.S. Ambassador Whitaker accuses the FARC of not fulfilling their agreements
Tensions between the United States and Colombia continued to deteriorate this week, after Kevin Whitaker, ambassador to the United States in Colombia, accused the FARC of not complying with the Havana Accords signed in November of 2016 by President Juan Manuel Santos.
“The FARC promised in this agreement to provide information about drug trafficking in order to conduct the corresponding judiciary process, and that has still not occurred”, Whitaker stated in an interview with El Tiempo.
He then added that the FARC promised to cooperate with the Colombian government, which they also have not done.
“The primary political issue is that Colombians don’t trust the FARC. If we add the fact that they don’t comply with the law, particularly for drug trafficking, it just gives the impression that the FARC won’t commit to Colombian democratic institutions”, Whitaker said.
Whitaker offered, if a consensus exists, that the United States government could talk to the FARC in order to get the needed information to dismantle the residues of their criminal organization.
The U.S. ambassador also specified that names from the United States terrorist lists would only be left out with their collaboration, and not just by the signature of peace agreements. The United States was not a signature to the agreements.
“They got put on those lists because their actions, and so by their actions, they must get out of them”, he added.
Furthermore, Whitaker expressed disappointment with the lack of support that the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office has provided to the United States to pursue terrorists. He said that Colombia needs to take more action and with more forcefulness.
Relations have recently deteriorated between Colombia and the United States since Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos began his second term in office. Santos halted programs used to destroy coca plantations in the country, a program in which the United States has invested more than $10 billion dollars. Santos has also been antagonistic of new U.S. President Donald Trump, criticizing him on several occasions.
Many U.S. Senators, and officials in Trump’s administration, have been critical of the 2016 Havana Accords, which were rejected by the Colombian people in a nationwide referendum last October. Santos, who had previously promised to abide by the results of the referendum, instead implemented them without popular support.