Colombia reaches deal on land reform with FARC rebels

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Colombia reaches deal on land reform with FARC rebels

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Colombian farmers are at the heart of an agreement reached between the government and members of the Marxist-led ‘Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’ (FARC) after months of peace talks.

The two sides have reached a deal on the economic and social development of rural areas, and the providing of land to poor farmers living there.

In Cuba, where the talks are taking place, the lead government negotiator, Humberto de la Calle, reminded everyone the deal would only take effect when an overall peace accord is achieved.

“Once we have that final document, and I hope this happens, it will be submitted for the ratification by the citizens (of Colombia) in a national referendum.”

Land reform is one of the main issues behind FARC ‘s decades-long insurgency.

“By resolving this issue Colombia is at the same time opening up the way for a debate on democracy,” said FARC’s main negotiator, Ivan Marquez.

More than 100,000 people have died and millions have been displaced in Latin America’s longest-running conflict.

About two million hectares of land have been stolen from farmers by armed groups with twice that amount abandoned by those fleeing the violence.