Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

36 hours left in this Mid-Year Campaign. This is our hour of need.
If you value independent journalism, please support Common Dreams.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Colombians celebrate the signing of the peace accord in Bogotá on Wednesday.

Colombians celebrate the signing of the peace accord in Bogotá on Wednesday. (Photo: Guillermo Legaria/AFP/Getty Images)

'It Is Time to Give Peace a Chance': Historic FARC Peace Deal Achieved

'We won the most beautiful of all battles: Peace.'

Nika Knight Beauchamp

After almost four years of negotiations and over 50 years of war, Colombia's rebel FARC group and the government finally signed a peace accord in Havana, Cuba, late Wednesday.

"We won the most beautiful of all battles: Peace," said the rebel group's top negotiator, Iván Márquez.

"The war is over," the Guardian quotes Humberto de la Calle, chief government negotiator, as saying after signing the deal. "It is the time to give peace a chance."

"Today marks the beginning of the end of the suffering, the pain and the tragedy of the war," Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos said in an address to the nation after the announcement in Havana.

Colombia's government will hold a plebiscite on October 2 for citizens to either accept or reject the agreement.

"It's in your hands, of all Colombians, to decide with your vote to support this historic accord that puts an end to this long conflict between the children of the same nation," Santos said, according to the Associated Press.

The terms of the accord are not necessarily approved of by all Colombians, the Guardian reports:

Under the agreement, the government commits to development programs and addressing gross inequalities in the country's long-neglected rural sector. It also agrees to widen the opportunities of political participation to smaller political movements, including the party that a demobilized FARC may create.

The FARC agrees to help dismantle and discourage the business of drug crops and trafficking that helped sustain its war financially for the past three decades.

The deal also includes reparations to victims and sets up a transitional justice system for crimes committed during the conflict. FARC  members who committed or ordered atrocities but confess their crimes will avoid serving their sentences in jail, instead performing "community service" projects and acts of reparation.

"That point is at the center of controversy surrounding the accords," the newspaper notes. "Critics say the accord should be renegotiated to include jail time for crimes against humanity and a ban on those convicted of such crimes from holding public office."

Polls show the plebiscite vote is currently tied between those in favor of the deal and those opposed.

The peace accord has been negotiated since November 2012. A draft of the agreement's terms was released last fall, and the official signing of the deal follows a historic ceasefire declared in July.

The last serious attempt at a peace accord in the 1980s failed when right-wing death squads gunned down 3,000 members of a pro-FARC party, NPR notes.

The U.S. has long fought the FARC in Colombia, even going so far as to fund right-wing death squads under the Clinton administration in the 1990s, and in recent years helped Colombia's right-wing government "torture, spy on, and kill" FARC rebels, a 2013 Washington Post investigation revealed.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Naomi Klein: The US Is in the Midst of a 'Shock-and-Awe Judicial Coup'

"The rolling judicial coup coming from this court is by no means over," warned the author of "The Shock Doctrine."

Jake Johnson ·


Markey, Bowman Join Climate Coalition in Urging SCOTUS Expansion

"We cannot sit idly by," said Markey, "as extremists on the Supreme Court eviscerate the authorities that the government has had for decades to combat climate change and reduce pollution."

Brett Wilkins ·


Ocasio-Cortez Says US 'Witnessing a Judicial Coup in Process'

"It is our duty to check the Court's gross overreach of power in violating people's inalienable rights and seizing for itself the powers of Congress and the president."

Brett Wilkins ·


Critics Say Biden Drilling Bonanza 'Won't Lower Gas Prices' But 'Will Worsen Climate Crisis'

"President Biden's massive public lands giveaway in the face of utter climate catastrophe is just the latest sign that his climate commitments are mere rhetoric," said one campaigner.

Kenny Stancil ·


'Payoff for 40 Years of Dark Money': Supreme Court Delivers for Corporate America

"It was the conservative court's larger agenda to gut the regulatory state and decimate executive powers to protect Americans' health and safety," warned one expert.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo