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Treasury freezes U.S. assets of FARC members

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  • Treasury Department targets members of Colombia rebel group
  • The group, known as FARC, has been deemed a narco-terrorist organization
  • Action also prohibits Americans from doing business with FARC
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday froze the U.S. assets of eight members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which it has deemed a narco-terrorist organization.

The Treasury's action, termed a "designation," also prohibited Americans from conducting business with FARC.

"Today's designation exposes eight 'International Commission members' of the FARC," said Adam Szubin, director of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control. "Through their service to the FARC as international representatives and negotiators, these persons provide material support to a narco-terrorist organization."

The organization, comprised of Colombian leftist rebels, is best known as FARC, its Spanish acronym.

The eight in Tuesday's designation represent the FARC in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Panama, Mexico and Canada, the Treasury Department alleged.

"As representatives of the FARC and members of its International Commission, these individuals work abroad to obtain recruits, support and protection for the FARC's acts of terrorism," the department said in a written statement. "Some are also themselves violent criminals."

One, Jairo Alfonse Lesmes Bulla, was arrested in August for allegedly plotting the assassinations of some South American officials, Treasury said. Bulla represents FARC in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay, according to the department.

Another, Orlay Jurado Palomino, who represents FARC in Venezuela, is wanted in Colombia on charges of kidnapping, rebellion and terrorism, the department said. And Francisco Antonio Cadena Collazos, who represents FARC in Brazil, was arrested in August 2005 at the request of Colombia on charges of rebellion, the Treasury statement said.

A fourth, Nubia Calderon de Trujillo, was recently granted asylum by Nicaragua, the department said.

The other four are Ovidio Salinas Perez; Jorge Davalos Torres; Efrain Pablo Rejo Freire; and Liliana Lopez Palacios, according to the Treasury statement.

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