Colombia will stop bombing raids against Marxist FARC rebels for a month, President Juan Manuel Santos said Tuesday, a major stride in a peace process aimed at ending Latin America’s longest-running civil war.
“In order to start the de-escalation of the conflict I have decided to order the minister of defense and armed forces commanders to stop bombing raids on FARC camps for a month,” Santos said in a television address.
The Colombian conflict has killed 220,000 people and uprooted more than five million since the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was launched in 1964.
The peace talks in Havana, which began in November 2012, have produced partial accords on several issues, but have yet to yield a final deal.
The National Liberation Army (ELN), a much smaller rebellion, is not part of the dialogue with the FARC.