Colombia to sign peace with Marxist rebels, ending 52-year war
- S&P, Dow rise on health stocks; Nasdaq weighed by Comcast
- Unusual 11 Mid-Day Movers 10/27: (PCMI) (OCN) (TTMI) Higher; (CYH) (RWLK) (AMFW) Lower
- Twitter (TWTR) Tops Q3 EPS by 4c; Announces Restructuring, Workforce Reduction
- Qualcomm (QCOM) to Acquire NXP Semi (NXPI) in $47B Deal
- Tesla (TSLA) Posts Q3 adj.-EPS of 71c
Cuba's President Raul Castro (C), Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos (L) and FARC rebel leader Rodrigo Londono, better known by his nom de guerre Timochenko, react after the signing of a historic ceasefire deal between the Colombian government and FA
Get access to the best calls on Wall Street with StreetInsider.com's Ratings Insider Elite. Get your Free Trial here.
By Helen Murphy and Luis Jaime Acosta
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Reuters) - Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Marxist rebel leader Timochenko will sign a deal on Monday ending a half-century war that killed a quarter of a million people, stymied the economy and made Colombia a byword for violence.
After four years of negotiations in Havana, Santos, 65, and Timochenko, a nom de guerre for the 57-year-old revolutionary, will shake hands for the first time on Colombian soil in front of world leaders.
Their deal to end Latin America's longest-running conflict will turn the FARC guerrilla group into a political party fighting at the ballot box instead of the battlefield it has occupied since 1964.
Some 2,500 foreign and local dignitaries will attend the ceremony in the colonial city of Cartagena, where huge billboards call on Colombians to accept the peace plan.
"I can't believe this day has finally come, peace is coming to Colombia," said Juan Gamarra, 43, who sells jewelry in the walled city.
Guests include U.N. head Ban Ki-moon, Cuban President Raul Castro, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and victims of the conflict.
Though there is widespread relief at an end to the bloodshed and kidnappings of past decades, the deal has caused divisions in Latin America's fourth-biggest economy.
Some, including influential former president Alvaro Uribe, are angered the accord allows rebels to enter congress without serving any jail time.
The agreement must be ratified during an Oct. 2 plebiscite, but polls show it will pass easily.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) - which began as a peasant revolt, became big players in the cocaine trade and had as many as 20,000 fighters at their strongest - will hand over weapons to the United Nations within 180 days.
"It's such an important day - now we can fight politically, without blood, without war," said Duvier, a 25-year-old rebel attending a FARC congress last week in the southern Yari Plains.
Colombians are nervous over how the remaining 7,000 rebels will integrate into society, but most are optimistic peace will bring more positives than problems.
Colombia's economy has performed well relative to neighbors in recent years, and peace should reduce security costs and open new areas for mining and oil companies. But crime gangs could try to fill the void and landmines hinder development.
With peace behind him, Santos, the scion of a wealthy Bogota family, will hope to use the political capital to push his economic agenda, especially tax reforms to compensate for a drop in oil income caused by a fall in oil prices.
(Editing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Sandra Maler)
Serious News for Serious Traders! Try StreetInsider.com Premium Free!
You May Also Be Interested In
- In post-Ebola Sierra Leone, more than half the population face food shortages: U.N.
- Pakistan opposition says dozens of activists arrested ahead of planned protest
- Ford idling Focus plant in Michigan extra two weeks on light demand
Create E-mail Alert Related CategoriesReuters
Sign up for StreetInsider Free!
Receive full access to all new and archived articles, unlimited portfolio tracking, e-mail alerts, custom newswires and RSS feeds - and more!