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Colombia grants amnesty to FARC members

[JURIST] The President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos [BBC profile], granted amnesty [press release, in Spanish] Monday to 3,252 members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) [BBC backgrounder]. Since 2016, Colombia has granted renewed status to 7,400 guerrillas. As a result of the decree, "administrative amnesty" will be applied to political and related crimes. As a condition of protection under the decree, FARC members turned over their personal firearms as verified by the UN mission in Colombia. Other conditions of the decree are aimed are reincorporating FARC members into community life.

The Colombian government and the FARC reached a peace agreement [JURIST report] in November to end the guerrilla warfare that has been plaguing the country for more than five decades. In December Colombia's Constitutional Court approved [JURIST report] the government's plan to expedite a peace deal with the FARC. Also that month the Colombian Congress approved [JURIST report] a measure granting amnesty to low-level FARC guerrillas who have not committed atrocious crimes. Colombian voters in October narrowly rejected [JURIST report] the previous peace deal negotiated between Santos and Timoleon Jimenez, the leader of the FARC. The Colombian government and the FARC signed a ceasefire [JURIST report] in June 2016, marking an end to more than 50 years of armed conflict between the two groups.

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