- Title: Colombians gather to watch peace deal signed on big screens
- Date: 24th November 2016
- Summary: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA (NOVEMBER 24, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF COLOMBIANS GATHERING IN FRONT OF BIG SCREEN SHOWING CEREMONY FOR THE SIGNING OF AN AMENDED PEACE DEAL
- Embargoed: 9th December 2016 19:29
- Keywords: Colombia peace peace deal FARC Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
- Location: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
- City: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
- Country: Colombia
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA00159T1XDZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Colombians gathered in the capital, Bogota, on Thursday (November 24) morning to watch on big screens the signing of an amended peace deal between President Juan Manuel Santos and Marxist FARC rebel leader Rodrigo Londono.
The new agreement to end 52 years of war was put together in just over a month after the original document was narrowly and unexpectedly defeated in an Oct. 2 referendum for being too lenient on the insurgent group.
A small crowd gathered with white flags in front of a screen outside the Colombian Congress where the peace deal will be sent for ratification, the President hopes will pass next week.
The government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have been in talks in Havana, Cuba for the last four years, hammering out a deal to end a conflict that has killed more than 220,000 and displaced millions in the Andean nation.
The signing ceremony marks the six-month countdown for the 7,000-strong rebel movement to abandon their weapons and form a political party.
Among those in Bogota´s central Bolivar Plaza was activist, Mirella Rojas, who recognised there is still much work to be done.
"It is a mix of emotions, happiness, hope. I am here not only as a citizen but as a human rights activist too and I think that Colombia was searching hard for this moment, we will continue working as we know it is the start of a path which could be difficult, but we think that if we come together in a national pact, in which we can build on our differences, we can reach what we are hoping for, which is the end of the conflict with the FARC, and I hope we can advance process with other guerrilla groups too such as the ELN, so I am very excited, with a lot of work ahead," said Rojas.
"The peace process continues, constructing a new society. This means that there is work, that there really is dignity. This is a very important step to begin to reconstruct the social fabric, the human fabric, and to begin to heal the wounds of war and dehumanization," added Luis Hernandez Montez.
The expanded and highly complex new 310-page document makes only small modifications to the original text, such as clarifying private property rights and detailing more fully how the rebels would be confined in rural areas for crimes committed during the war.
The FARC, which began as a rebellion fighting rural poverty, has battled a dozen governments as well as right-wing paramilitary groups.
An end to the war with the FARC is unlikely to end violence in Colombia as the lucrative cocaine business has given rise to dangerous criminal gangs and traffickers.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: Audio restrictions: This clip's Audio includes copyrighted material. User is responsible for obtaining additional clearances before publishing the audio contained in this clip.