Wanted Columbian Terrorist Arrested at Southern Border, Raising More Security Concerns

In a recent development that has sparked renewed discussions about border security, a Colombian national identified as Jerminton Genaro-Quinones Carvajal was apprehended near El Paso, Texas, on March 8 for illegally crossing the southern border.

According to an internal US Border Patrol memo obtained by The Post, Carvajal was found to be a “positive match” on the terror watchlist and admitted to being a former member of the Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC).

During questioning, Carvajal revealed that he had previously been involved in overseeing the “transportation of goods and unmarked crates” for the FARC, which he acknowledged sometimes contained firearms, ammunition, and cocaine.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence considers the FARC as one of Colombia’s most powerful violent dissident groups, known for carrying out “armed assaults, assassinations, extortion operations, and hostage-takings” primarily targeting the Colombian government and military.

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Carvajal claimed to have “demobilized” from the FARC, and it was also discovered that he had a prior arrest for aggravated robbery, resulting in a six-month prison sentence and 52 months of house arrest. The location of his sentencing and incarceration remains unclear.

Federal authorities have secured prosecution for Carvajal’s illegal entry into the US, and he will remain in custody until his sentencing hearing on March 25.

Court papers indicate that Carvajal entered the US by swimming across the Rio Grande and has no criminal history in the country, suggesting that his sentence may not exceed six months in prison.

The Biden administration’s decision to revoke the FARC’s terrorist designation in 2021, citing a 2016 treaty between the group and the Colombian government that led to its “formal dissolution and disarmament,” has drawn attention in light of this recent arrest. The US government had initially designated FARC as a terrorist organization in 1997.

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Carvajal’s arrest is not an isolated incident, as another terror watchlisted Colombian migrant was apprehended near Eagle Pass, Texas, on Feb. 21, just days before former President Donald Trump visited the area.

Federal data shows that encounters with terror watchlisted individuals at both the northern and southern borders have nearly doubled from fiscal year 2022 to fiscal year 2023, rising from 98 to 172 encounters.