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World

Colombia Signs Revised Peace Deal With FARC Rebels

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Colombia has another new peace deal. It's an effort to end a 52-year-old civil war with a rebel group. This peace agreement is a revised version of one that voters rejected in a referendum last month. Juan Forero of the Wall Street Journal says the government is not taking any chances with another referendum.

JUAN FORERO: What's different now is that the government's going to push this through Congress, where it has a majority. So in other words, it's really bypassing the people, at least in terms of direct democracy. They're not going to be voting on this like in the first accord.

INSKEEP: Colombia's previous deal, which took six years to negotiate, was rejected by voters, largely because of the anger that the FARC rebels would not be going to jail for crimes committed during the war. Juan Forero says the new deal addresses that to a degree.

FORERO: There is a little bit more clarity on what kind of punishment they will be facing. In other words, there will be punishment - it's called transitional justice. It doesn't mean jail time, but it does mean where they're going to be restricted. Their movements could be restricted. They also have to admit to the crimes that they committed, and they have to compensate the victims.

INSKEEP: So that's the new deal, which Colombia's opposition doesn't like either - but the opposition hasn't done much against it yet.

FORERO: I have to say, though, that people are sort of fatigued by this whole thing. So it's not like we've had protests or anything like that out in the street. And there've been a lot of polls throughout this whole process that have shown that people really do want peace.

INSKEEP: That's Juan Forero of The Wall Street Journal, based in Bogota, Colombia, talking about that country's new peace deal that was signed and now goes to the country's Congress. If it passes, it will end decades of civil war. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.