With full peace deal, Colombia says adieu to largest civil war in LatAm

More than half a century of animosity and bloodshed, now has a period.

A full peace deal is signed between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on September 26 in its Caribbean city of Cartagena.

This is good news for the estimated 7,500 FARC members, who can bid farewell to arms and re-integrate into civil and political life.

This is relief for the government of President Juan Manuel Santos, who has overseen a definitive end to the largest, longest and last civil war in Latin America, after three-and-a-half years of negotiation.

(Soundbite) Juan Manuel Santos, Colombian President (Bogota / July 20, 2016)
“Peace is not mine. Peace is not (only for) my government. However it will be, peace is too large to be owned. Peace is the desire and will be the reality of more than 48 million Colombians.”

The deal must also be endorsed by Colombians in a referendum on October 2.

According to the deal, the FARC must hand over its weapons to the United Nations monitors within six months, in the 26 so-called “normalization zones” for demobilization process.

After that, the guerrillas will transform into a political movement, with 10 seats at Congress.

The FARC insurgency started in the 1960s as a peasant uprising for land rights and gradually grew to a 17,000 strong force operating across vast territory.

Kidnapping and involvement in cocaine industry helped bankroll the rebel group, which outlived all other major revolts in Latin America.

It has left 260,000 people dead, 45,000 missing and nearly seven million displaced, according to official figures.

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