‘The horrible night has ceased’: Colombia peace deal resounds in Farc’s heartland

‘I can’t believe this is really happening. This is a great day for Colombia,’ says Alonso Cardoza from the remote town of Uribe where the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia formally took its name

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Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, left, and Farc leader Timochenko shake hands during the signing of the historic peace agreement in Cartagena on Monday. Photograph: Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images

Sibylla Brodzinsky in Uribe, Colombia
Tuesday 27 September 2016

A large screen hanging in a multipurpose court projects images residents of the remote town of Uribe never believed they’d see.

They watched from a region that came to be known as Farc’s headquarters as, 800km (500 miles) away in Cartagena, a peace deal was signed between the government and guerrilla force to end 52 years of war.

Using a pen fashioned out of the spent casing of a rifle bullet, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos and leftist rebel leader Timochenko signed a peace deal between the government and Farc rebels, closing a long, bloody chapter of this country’s violent history.

“The horrible night has ceased,” said Santos, quoting a phrase from Colombia’s national anthem.

As night fell over the colonial walled city of Cartagena, Timochenko, whose real name is Rodrigo Londoño, said: “Our only weapons will be our words.

“In the name of the Farc I ask sincere forgiveness to all the victims of the conflict and for all the pain we may have caused in this war,” he said to resounding applause from the audience.

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