Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signed a revised peace agreement with the country’s largest rebel movement , making a second attempt within months to end a half century of hostilities.
Santos and Rodrigo Londono, leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia(RAFC), signed the 310-page accord at Bogota’s historic Colon Theater — nearly two months after the original deal was surprisingly rejected in a referendum.
- Santos looked and sounded tired after a two-month political roller coaster that saw him rise from the humiliating defeat to win this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
- This time the deal will be sent directly to Congress without a public referendum.
He tried to inject a dose of optimism about the hobbled accord whose outlook for implementation is shrouded in uncertainty.
- FARC leader Londono used his address to call for a transitional government to ensure the accord is effectively implemented, a suggestion immediately denounced by the opposition as a veiled attempt to extend Santos’ tenure past elections in 2018, when he’ll be constitutionally banned from competing.
- The rebel leader also congratulated Donald Trump on his victory and called on the president-elect to continue strong U.S. support for Colombia on its path to peace.
- The new accord introduces some 50 changes intended to assuage critics led by still-powerful former President Alvaro Uribe.
- They range from a prohibition on foreign magistrates judging crimes by the FARC or government to a commitment from the insurgents to forfeit assets, some of them amassed through drug trafficking, to help compensate their victims.