Tears and celebration prevailed today as the Colombian government capped off a three year effort by signing a ceasefire with the FARC rebellion, ending a half century of war and transitioning FARC from a guerrilla rebellion to a political movement.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos shook hands with the FARC commander at a ceremony in Cuba, declaring the deal to be “the end of the FARC as an armed group.” Former FARC commander Elda Neyis Mosquera praised the deal, calling for full reconciliation.
Not everything is finalized in the deal, and FARC’s transition to a political party is still not totally set, and FARC is demanding the unilateral appointment of some of its members to parliament without having to contest elections.
FARC was formed in 1964 as a Communist insurgency, and was classified as a terrorist organization in Colombia as well as in many major Western allies, including the US and European union. The peace process began tentatively in mid-2012, leading to today’s ceasefire.