‘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


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.

Keep reading The Guardian.