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Farewell to Arms
El Palo, Colombia—A woman carries her son past a mural on August 28 that reads "bilateral cease-fire.” A permanent cease-fire took effect at midnight that day, ending the 52-year-old war between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia rebels, who signed a final peace agreement on August 24 in Havana. Among other details, the accord lays out the terms under which rebels will disarm and eventually enter civilian life again. It includes paying the rebels 90 percent of Colombia's minimum wage as they emerge from their strongholds, offering amnesty for all but the gravest crimes and granting FARC nonvoting representation in Congress until 2018, at which point they will the ability to participate in elections. Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos has sent the text of the accord to Congress, where legislators have 30 days to go over it before a national referendum on October 2. “Peace is always better than war. It will remove the fear we have all grown up with after so many years,” Santos said. “Peace offers opportunities that most Colombians never had."
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