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Colombian Rebels Disarm, but Paramilitary Problems Persist

LADB Article ID: 80369
Category/Department: Colombia
Date: 2017-08-04
By: Andrés Gaudín

With the handover to UN inspectors of the remaining weapons in their arsenal on June 27, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionaria de Colombia (FARC) guerrillas put an end-note on the longest and costliest internal war in Latin American history. In the country’s principal cities, the development was cause for celebration, while for the extreme right, it was further evidence that the government of President Juan Manuel Santos has “given itself over to Marxist terrorism.” That sector also warned that, should it win next year’s elections, it will dismantle, one-by-one, the agreements that paved the way for peace. The ominous appearance, in the meantime, of civilian commandos in territories abandoned by the disarmed rebels, and the killing of dozens of human rights defenders, demobilized guerrillas and their family members, shows that the extreme right is already employing the deadly machinery of its paramilitary organizations. In a long-anticipated ceremony in the central department of Meta, which had been a jungle stronghold for the FARC, UN personnel sealed shut the last of several shipping containers filled with weapons. The arms will later be melted down and used to build monuments.

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