Colombia Ushers in Ceasefire That Was 52 Years in Coming

FARC-government peace took hold at 12:01am
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2016 11:17 AM CDT
Colombia Ushers in Ceasefire That Was 52 Years in Coming
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos hand-carries to Congress the peace deal with rebels of FARC, in Bogota, Colombia, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016.   (AP Photo/Felipe Caicedo)

The stroke of 12:01am on Monday brought a nascent peace to Colombia that was more than a half-century in the making. A bloody war between Bogota and the FARC rebels claimed more than 220,000 lives, reports the AP, but "never again will parents be burying their sons and daughters killed in the war," said FARC leader Rodrigo Londono. He announced the ceasefire on Sunday from Havana, where the peace agreement was hammered out over the course of four years. "All rivalries and grudges will remain in the past."

FARC leaders are expected to ratify the deal next month; a national referendum will come on Oct. 2 and is expected to pass. FARC then has six months from the deal's signing to disarm; in return it will hold at least five seats in each of the two houses of congress for the next decade. (Meanwhile, Colombian peace could be bad news for American partiers.)

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