After more than half a century long war, the FARC guerillas and Colombian government reached a peace agreement.
ICP, 27th August 2016
After the cease fire agreement signed in last June, the parties of the Colombian peace negotiation process reached a final peace deal. The announcement was made in Havana, Cuba on Wednesday. The Colombian government stated that the agreement will be voted in a national plebiscite which the voters either accept or reject the peace accord on 2nd October. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) will also approve the accord in its 10th Conference.
With the agreement, one of the oldest socialist guerilla groups in Latin America, the FARC, gives up its armed struggle and begins to integrate into legal political system. "We have won the most beautiful of all battles... of peace for Colombia. The battle with weapons ends and the battle of ideas begins." The FARC's top negotiator, Iván Márquez, said.
On Wednesday, The United States President Barack Obama called Colombian President Santos to "congratulate the deal." The USA has given billions of dollars in aid to war against FARC and CIA afiliated paramilitary groups participated in the decades long war, responsible for countless crimes against humanity.
According to deal, Colombian government has committed to make a land reform which basically aims to support the small-landowner economy in the rural parts of the country. The government also will form a truth commission which will grant alternative punishments for those who admits their responsibility in war crimes. The FARC on the other hand, will turn over its weapons to a UN mission.
The second largest leftist guerilla group in the country, the National Liberation Army (ELN), remains its armed activities in the country. The group has 2,000 armed forces according to estimations and has not yet begun formal negotiations with the government.