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Colombia and rebels expected to reveal major breakthrough in peace talks
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the leader of the FARC rebel group were expected to announce a major breakthrough Wednesday in their peace negotiations, which could bring the country to the verge of ending one of the world's longest-running wars.
The Colombian president arrived Wednesday afternoon in Havana, where formal negotiations between the two sides began in 2012. Also in the city was Timoleon Jimenez, alias "Timochenko," the elusive commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (known by its Spanish acronym as FARC) who had previously surfaced only in videos recorded from his jungle hideouts.
Until now, the two sides have been at an impasse over the most sensitive element of the talks, namely whether guerrillas who lay down their weapons would be subject to criminal prosecution, prison terms and potential extradition to the United States.
FARC leaders have insisted they would not submit to such terms. There are reams of criminal charges against them in Colombian, U.S. and international courts for murder, kidnapping, drug trafficking, terrorism and various other serious offenses.
More than 220,000 people have been killed in Colombia's 50-year-old war, and more than 6 million have been forced to leave their homes.
[Source: By Nick Miroff, The Washington Post, Havana, 23Sep15]
DDHH en Colombia
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