- Title: Colombia´s capital celebrates peace deal in concert
- Date: 27th September 2016
- Summary: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA (SEPTEMBER 26, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF CONCERTGOERS WITH SIGNS READING (IN SPANISH): "YES" VARIOUS OF PERFORMANCE BY THE GROUP ´LA ETNIA´ CONCERTGOERS DANCING
- Embargoed: 12th October 2016 03:52
- Keywords: Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia FARC Colombia Bogota
- Location: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
- City: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
- Country: Colombia
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00151CB8LJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Colombians celebrated the signing of an historic peace deal between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) at a concert in the capital, Bogota, on Monday (September 26).
Developing out of an afternoon demonstration in favour of a 'yes' vote in Colombia´s upcoming referendum on whether to ratify the agreements, crowds of people gathered to watch the signing on big screens, followed by a host of national artists including La Etnia.
"We are celebrating peace, the best decision our country could have achieved, we have a lot of faith in this new phase in Colombia," said concertgoer, Diana Calderon.
"(This is) the most awaited moment for the Colombian people, the signing of the peace agreement of Havana, one of the most complete processes in the world and finally the end has arrived and we can celebrate and shout with joy that more than half a century of war has ended in this country," added Camilo Mendoza.
A total of 2,000 policemen were deployed to contain the event in Bogota's Bolivar Plaza, where the atmosphere remained friendly and animated.
Supporters of the 'no' vote also took to the streets earlier in the day in Cartagena, led by influential former president Alvaro Uribe who defends that the rebel forces should be finished with no amnesty or access to congress as stipulated under the agreements.
Speaking at the ceremony in Cartagena, Londono made an official apology to the nation for all the hurt caused, whilst Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos welcomed the group as a future political party into democracy.
The FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which began as a peasant revolt, became a big player in the cocaine trade and at its strongest had 20,000 fighters. Now, its some 7,000 fighters must hand over their weapons to the United Nations within 180 days.
The end of Latin America's longest-running war will turn the FARC guerrillas into a political party fighting at the ballot box instead of the battlefield they have occupied since 1964.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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