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Last Updated:3/7/02
Text of H.Res. 358, March 6, 2002

RESOLUTION

Expressing support for the democratically elected Government of Colombia and its efforts to counter threats from United States-designated foreign terrorist organizations.

Whereas the democratically elected Government of Colombia, led by President Andres Pastrana, is the legitimate authority in the oldest representative democracy in South America;

Whereas the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury, is required to designate as foreign terrorist organizations those groups whose activities threaten the security of United States nationals or the national security interests of the United States pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act;

Whereas the Secretary of State has designated three Colombian terrorist groups as foreign terrorist organizations, including the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), and the National Liberation Army (ELN);

Whereas all three United States-designated foreign terrorist organizations regularly engage in criminal acts, including murder, kidnapping, and extortion perpetrated against Colombian civilians, government officials, security forces, and against foreign nationals, including United States citizens;

Whereas the FARC is holding five Colombian legislators, a presidential candidate, and Colombian police and army officers and soldiers as hostages and has recently escalated bombings against civilian targets, including a foiled attempt to destroy the city of Bogota's principal water reservoir;

Whereas, according to the Colombian Government, the FARC has received training in terrorist techniques and technology from foreign nationals;

Whereas, since 1992, United States-designated foreign terrorist organizations in Colombia have committed serious crimes against United States citizens, kidnapping more than 50 Americans and murdering at least ten Americans;

Whereas the Drug Enforcement Administration believes that members of the FARC and the AUC directly engage in narcotics trafficking;

Whereas individual members of Colombia's security forces have collaborated with illegal paramilitary organizations by, inter alia, in some instances allowing such organizations to pass through roadblocks, sharing tactical information with such organizations, and providing such organizations with supplies and ammunition;

Whereas while the Colombian Government has made progress in its efforts to combat and capture members of illegal paramilitary organizations and taken positive steps to break links between individual members of the security forces and such organizations, further steps by the Colombian Government are warranted;

Whereas in 1998 Colombian President Andres Pastrana began exhaustive efforts to negotiate a peace agreement with the FARC and implemented extraordinary confidence-building measures to advance these negotiations, including establishing a 16,000-square-mile safe haven for the FARC;

Whereas the Government of Colombia has also undertaken substantial efforts to negotiate a peace agreement with the ELN;

Whereas the United States has consistently supported the Government of Colombia's protracted efforts to negotiate a peace agreement with the FARC and supports the Government of Colombia in its continuing efforts to reach a negotiated agreement with the ELN;

Whereas the United States would welcome a negotiated, political solution to end the violence in Colombia;

Whereas, after the FARC hijacked a commercial airplane and took Colombian Senator Jorge Eduardo Gechem Turbay as a hostage into the government-created safe haven, President Pastrana ended his government's sponsorship of the peace negotiations with the FARC and ordered Colombia's security forces to re-establish legitimate govern-mental control in the safe haven;

Whereas President Pastrana has received strong expressions of support from foreign governments and international organizations for his decision to end the peace talks and dissolve the FARC's safe haven; and

Whereas the Government of Colombia's negotiations with the ELN are continuing despite the end of the negotiations with the FARC: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That-

(1) the House of Representatives--
(A) expresses its support for the democratically elected Government of Colombia and the 4 Colombian people as they strive to protect their 5 democracy from terrorism and the scourge of illicit narcotics; and
(B) deplores the continuing criminal terrorist acts of murder, abduction, and extortion carried out by all United States-designated foreign terrorist organizations in Colombia against United States citizens, the civilian population of Colombia, and Colombian authorities; and
(2) it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the President, without undue delay, should transmit to Congress for its consideration proposed legislation, consistent with United States law regarding the protection of human rights, to assist the Government of Colombia protect its democracy from United States-designated foreign terrorist organizations and the scourge of illicit narcotics; and
(3) it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the Secretary of State should designate a high-ranking official to coordinate all United States assistance to the Government of Colombia to ensure clarity of United States policy and the effective delivery of United States support.

As of March 7, 2002, this document was also available online at http://usinfo.state.gov/admin/011/lef306.htm

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