Latin America & Caribbean

US blacklists Colombia 'Farc members' in Switzerland

Detained Farc rebel helps locate mass grave near Chaguani, Colombia, July 2015 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ex-Farc rebels have been helping locate mass graves in Colombia as part of a deal

The US has announced sanctions against four alleged members of Colombia's Farc rebel group, accusing them of drug trafficking and money laundering.

The four men used a shop in Switzerland as a front for their activities, the US treasury department said.

It says the Farc still use drugs to fund their "ruthless operation".

Under the 1999 Kingpin Act, any assets the four men have in the US will be frozen. American firms and citizens are banned from doing business with them.

The four men on the sanctions list were named as Jose Vicente Pena Pacheco, Adolfo Fonnegra Espejo, Ivan Gonzalez Zamorano and Cristian David Gonzalez Mejia.

They all live in Switzerland. No response from the four has been reported.

In a statement, the treasury said they had carried out money laundering and drug smuggling operations to the US and other destinations through a shop in Zurich.

Anthony Marotta, a senior US Drugs Enforcement Agency Chief official, said: "The Farc is a designated foreign terrorist organisation, and we will remain vigilant in our efforts to hold them accountable."

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Farc negotiators have been holding peace talks with the Colombian government in Havana

The Farc are engaged in peace talks with the Colombian government to end to more than 50 years of conflict.

Since the negotiations began in 2012, agreement has been reached on several issues - land reform, political participation by the rebels if a peace deal is reached and drug trafficking.

For decades the Farc has financed much of its operations through the sale of illegal drugs.

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