Colombia – Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos is signing, for the second time in under two months, a historic peace accord with leftist rebels. The original accord was defeated in a referendum. Here's a look at how we got here and what lies ahead:
President Santos signed an initial peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia on Sept. 26 in an elaborate ceremony attended by several heads of state, but voters rejected the deal a week later in a referendum by a razor-thin margin of just 57,000 out of 13 million ballots cast. The defeat came as shock as opinion polls had predicted the "yes" vote would win by an almost two-to-one margin.
CHANGES TO ACCORD
Following defeat, Santos returned to the negotiating table to wrest some 50-plus concessions from the FARC ranging from a ban on foreign judges in special tribunals that will judge the rebels' crimes to a commitment by the FARC to forfeit assets obtained through drug-trafficking and other criminal activity. He received a boost in his efforts by being awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize.
Once signed, the accord will be sent to congress where a solid pro-peace majority is expected to easily ratify it in the coming days. After that, the FARC's 8,000-some fighters will begin concentrating in rural areas where they will turn over their weapons to United Nations-sponsored monitors over the next six months.
Adversaries of the agreement, drove by capable previous President Alvaro Uribe, consider the progressions restorative. They are debilitating to blacklist congress and rampage to challenge what they consider a noteworthy hit to Colombia's popular government. They had been pushing for prison time and more grounded cutoff points on the political investment of FARC pioneers who submitted outrages. Both Santos and the FARC say the understanding is the most ideal one for Colombia.
PROSPECTS FOR PEACE:
The peace bargain expels Colombia's biggest security danger yet there are worries that criminal packs and the much-littler National Liberation Army will fill the void once the FARC hauls out of provincial ranges it has customarily overwhelmed. A large portion of Colombia's murders have no immediate relationship to the guerrillas and even before the peace bargains brutality identified with the contention had tumbled to the most minimal level in decades.