RealNews

800 Fighters Surrender in Colombia

Authorities hope that the event will lead to a wider peace pact. Rights groups see the move by paramilitary members as a bid to elude justice. In an elaborately staged ceremony that drew outrage from human rights groups, more than 800 paramilitary fighters laid down their arms here Tuesday in what the national government hoped would be the first step toward reaching a wider peace accord with their violent right-wing group. Standing at attention in a downtown convention center, the ranks of camouflage-clad men and women bowed their heads in a moment of silence for the victims of Colombia’s four-decade civil war, which pits the government and paramilitary groups against left-wing guerrillas. The fighters then listened to videotaped messages from three paramilitary leaders, two of whom have been accused of torture, murder and massacre, before turning their weapons over to the country’s top peace negotiator. Full Story

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