Colom­bia to sign his­toric peace deal on end­ing long con­flict

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

More than 220,000 deaths, 8 mil­lion home­less and count­less hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions: These are the tragic toll of South Amer­ica’s old­est armed con­flict, which be­gins to wind down with the sign­ing Mon­day of a his­toric agree­ment be­tween Colom­bia’s gov­ern­ment and the coun­try’s largest rebel move­ment to end a half-cen­tury of hos­til­i­ties.

Un­der­lin­ing the sig­nif­i­cance of the deal, Pres­i­dent Juan Manuel San­tos and the top com­man­der of the Revo­lu­tion­ary Armed Forces of Colom­bia, a rebel fighter known by the alias Ti­mochenko, were to sign the ac­cord in the colo­nial city of Carta­gena. Fif­teen Latin Amer­i­can pres­i­dents as well as U.N. Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry were on hand to wit­ness the sign­ing.

In a cer­e­mony charged with sym­bol­ism be­fit­ting an his­toric mo­ment, the more than 2,500 guests were asked to wear white as a sign of peace and San­tos was to sign the ac­cord.

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