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Peace deal signed in Colombia

Friday, November 25, 2016 - 01:45

Colombia signs a new peace accord, ending 52 years of war in Latin America's fourth-largest economy, but opponents to the deal say President Juan Manuel Santos has undermined the will of the people. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Colombia's President signs a peace treaty with the leader of the Marxist FARC rebels, ending more than half a century of war. After the signing President Juan Manuel Santos sent the deal straight to Congress for a vote next week. The government's majority means approval is likely to be speedy. But the revised peace accord -- is the second such effort and comes after an initial deal was rejected last month by millions of people. Despite widespread relief at an end to conflict, many among Colombia's largely conservative residents are angry because, like the original agreement, the new deal will not jail FARC leaders who committed kidnappings, and it allows them to hold political office. Former President Alvaro Uribe spearheaded the push to reject the original accord and he wanted deeper changes to the new version. As Colombians gathered in the capital, Bogota -- they did so with mixed emotions. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) COLOMBIAN, MIRELLA ROJAS, SAYING: "It is a mix of emotions, happiness, hope. I am here not only as a citizen but as a human rights activist. I think that Colombia was searching hard for this moment." The FARC began as a rebellion fighting rural poverty. It has battled a dozen governments as well as right-wing paramilitary groups. The signing ceremony marked a six-month countdown for the FARC to abandon weapons and form a political party.

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Peace deal signed in Colombia

Friday, November 25, 2016 - 01:45