Colombia government, rebels reach new peace deal News
Colombia government, rebels reach new peace deal

The Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) reached a peace agreement Saturday to end the guerrilla warfare that has been plaguing the country for more than five decades. Meeting in Havana, the two sides solidified a new deal [El Tiempo report, in Spanish] that alters the deal voters rejected [JURIST report] in last month’s referendum. The new deal includes provisions [Reuters report] for FARC fighters to face jail and community service, for the FARC to turn over financial information, and for investigations of crimes to be commenced within the narrower window of next two years. It is unclear whether the new agreement will also face a voter referendum for approval.

The conflict between the FARC and the Colombian government had continued for more than half a century and claimed more than 220,000 lives [CNN report]. The Colombian government and the FARC finalized [JURIST report] a previous agreement [text, in Spanish] in August to end the lengthy conflict, which followed a cease-fire accord in June [JURIST report]. However, the previous agreement was stymied by a slim rejection by voters [JURIST report], by a vote of 50.2%. In January the UN Security Council made peace in Colombia a priority [JURIST report], and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos [official site] won the Nobel Peace Prize [NYT report] last month for his efforts to end the decades long conflict.