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FEATURING JENNIFER MCCOY – Colombia’s president Juan Manual Santos signed an historic peace deal with rebel leader Rodrigo Londoño, aka Timochenko on Monday. The accord comes more than 50 years after Colombia plunged into political violence. Monday’s signing ceremony took place in Cartagena and was attended by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Cuban President Raul Castro and a host of Latin American heads of state. Cuba had hosted months of peace talks leading up to the signing of the deal.

Timochenko is the leader of the Marxist guerilla group called the FARC, which was responsible for a significant portion of violence over the years. However, US-backed Colombian paramilitary groups were just as guilty of crimes. Groups like Human Rights Watch have criticized the deal saying it would encourage impunity for rights violations. There is to be an election in Colombia on October 2nd, offering the voting public the chance to ratify or reject the deal.

Read Jennifer McCoy’s article about Colombia HERE.

Jennifer McCoy, a Distinguished University Professor of Political Science and was founding Director of the Global Studies Institute at Georgia State University. She is a specialist on democratization, democracy promotion, mediation, conflict prevention, election processes, election observation, and Latin American politics. She has authored or edited six books and dozens of articles.

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