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Colombia Tries to End Five Decades of War with Rebels

Cuba's President Raul Castro (Center) encourages Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos (Left) and Commander the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC, Timoleon Jimenez, to shake hands, in Havana, Cuba, Sept. 23, 2015.
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The government of Colombia and the rebel group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia are talking to end 50 years of violence.

In one breakthrough of the peace talks, Colombia plans to pardon 30 Marxist rebels who are in prison.

The talks have been ongoing in Havana, Cuba since 2012. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos set a target date of March 2016 for a final treaty.

In September, government negotiator Humberto de la Calle said both sides will “definitely” meet the March 23 deadline for the treaty.

The two sides agreed to four main points.

  • Land will be granted to poor farmers.
  • Those in conflict with the government will be pardoned.
  • All illegal drug production will be stopped.
  • Rebel participation in politics will be welcomed.

The four points will be acted upon when the peace treaty is signed.

A statement from Santos’ office said none of the 30 rebels to be pardoned have committed violent crimes.

Both sides will contribute to finding the tens of thousands reported missing. Government estimates show 220,000 people killed and millions displaced in the conflict that began in 1964.

I'm Dorry Gundy.

Lou Lorscheider wrote this story for Jim Dresbach adapted it for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.


Words in This Story

breakthrough – n. an important discovery that happens after trying for a long time to understand or explain something

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