Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and leftist guerrilla commanders announced an important breakthrough in peace talks that sets the stage to end Latin America’s longest-running armed conflict.
In a joint statement, Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia said Wednesday they have overcome the last significant obstacle to a peace deal by settling on a formula to compensate victims and punish belligerents for human rights abuses.
In a meeting attended by Cuban President Raúl Castro and FARC maximum leader Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, alias “Timochenko”, the government and guerrilla group have signed an agreement on transitional justice – promising peace by March 23 of next year.
Rebels that confess their crimes, compensate victims and promise not to take up arms again will receive up to 8 years of restrictions on their liberty in restricted areas still be to determined.
Santos flew to Havana, where peace talks have been going on for three years, to make the announcement alongside his longtime nemeses.