Colombia

Five key points in Colombia's peace deal


Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leader Ivan Marquez shake hands while Cuban President Raul Castro looks on.

After the historic announcement on August 24 that negotiations have concluded in the Colombian peace process between the Colombian government and the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), here are the five key points that have been agreed on.

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1. End of violence

Colombian trade unionists welcome peace, but push for justice

Colombia has just emerged from 50 years of civil war, but its future is still uncertain.

Amid the optimism prompted by the peace deal between the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the government of President Juan Manuel Santos, it is easy to assume the slaughter of trade unionists and other activists is a thing of the past.

However, 534 people were murdered from 2011 to last year — 134 of those trade unionists — according to Justice for Colombia, the British trade union-based campaign against paramilitary violence against the Colombian labour movement.

Colombia: Historic peace deal celebrated, but challenges lie ahead


Colombians in Bogota watch the announcement of the final peace deal in Havana, Cuba, August 24.

A groundbreaking peace deal has been signed between the government and left-wing Revolutionary Armed forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels. But while the more than 50-year-long war is finally over, difficult times still lay ahead to fully realise the promise of peace in the South American nation.

Colombia: Majority back peace deal


Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC commander Timoleon Jimenez at a signing ceremony in Havana, Cuba for a historic ceasefire in June.

Colombia: FARC and government sign historic ceasefire


Rebels from the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

One of the world's longest running conflicts appears to be nearing an end after more than 50 years of fighting. Colombian government officials and rebels from the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) gathered in Havana, Cuba, on June 23 to announce a historic ceasefire nearly four years in the making.

Raul Reyes and Colombia's tragedy

On March 1, Raul Reyes, a central leader of the 18,000-strong left-wing guerrilla army, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), was killed in an illegal midnight attack by the Colombian army. The attack targetted a FARC encampment three kilometres south of the border in the Putumayo province of Ecuador.

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Latin America's CELAC summit debates push back against US power, economic measures

The 2016 summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) began on January 26 with the meeting of foreign ministers and chancellors of the Latin American nations at the headquarters of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in Mitad del Mundo, Quito, Ecuador.

CELAC, a regional body involving all nations in the Americas except for the United States and Canada, was officially created in Caracas in 2011 under the leadership of then-Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

As Europe closes borders, Ecuador says 'no one is illegal'


Day care centre for Colombian refugees in Ecuador.

Governments across the world are erecting walls and tightening laws to keep refugees out, but one country is taking a radically different approach based on the simple premise that “no one is illegal”.

The Andean nation of Ecuador, with a population of 15.7 million people, is no stranger to the challenges of dealing with refugee crises.

Colombia: Land reform 'essential for peace'

Land reforms are essential to achieving a long-standing peace after half a century of conflict, said Colombian academic Alejandro Reyes on September 10 during a forum on agrarian issues in Bogota.

Venezuela-Colombia dispute grows as ambassadors recalled, more borders closed


Colombian right-wing paramilitaries.

Venezuela and Colombia recalled their ambassadors for consultations on August 26. The move came after a meeting between the two nations’ foreign ministers failed to calm diplomatic tensions over Venezuelan border closures and Colombian smuggling activities.

The recall was followed the next day by further border closures announced by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

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