Monday, September 28, 2015
Government of Colombia and FARC rebels agree tp peace
Mr. Santos said the rebel leader worried that the government would use the deadline to force the guerrillas to make concessions at the last minute, but he assured Mr. Londoño that he wanted only to speed up the end of the talks. That smoothed over the impasse.
Besides the deadline, the two sides announced Wednesday that the rebels would begin to hand over their weapons 60 days after the signing of a final peace deal.
And they said that according to their basic agreement, rebel leaders and military officers who had committed human rights violations and other egregious crimes during the war would be punished — a breakthrough on what had long been an obstacle to a final accord.
Mr. Santos said that the punishment would include detention in a special site that he described as “an austere installation” but “not a typical jail with black-and-white pajamas.”
Thousands of low-level FARC fighters would be granted an amnesty under the deal, but Mr. Santos said several dozen rebel leaders could be subject to the punishment, possibly including Mr. Londoño. The rebels would be required to confess to their crimes before a tribunal, and a failure to do so could lead to more severe punishment.
If the deal holds this will be terrific for Colombia as this insurgency has been running nearly 50 years. The constant pipeline attacks and bombs occasionally going off in the major cities is not prospective for foreign direct investment. I am very upbeat on the prospects for Colombia and this news re-enforces my view. Once oil prices recover and the fall in Peso abates interest in Colombia will return. One of the big benefits of peace could be the unleashing of a huge mineral exploration campaign in Colombia. Evidently it has huge resources that were not able to be exploited due to the civil war and interference by rebel groups.
Colombia lies at the northern end of the Andean Cordillera, producer of 39 percent of the world's copper -- along with 21 percent of molybdenum and 7 percent of gold supply. The country has largely the same rocks as Chile, Peru and Ecuador, yet produces almost none of these metals other than bullion.
But the prospects are tremendous. Porphyry copper-gold showings around Colombia are some of the largest and richest in the world. They've just never been open to development -- with the civil war being one of the major impediments.
But a peace deal could change that, much like the end of fighting did in Peru in the 1990s, leading to huge discoveries -- including the Pierina gold deposit, one of the world's largest and lowest-cost producers.