years of drug running, kidnapping, and gorilla violence could soon be history in Columbia. The leftist Farc rebel signing a peace deal with the government Wednesday, taking a significant step towards ending one of the world's longest running civil wars, which killed more than 200,000 people and took the country to the brink of collapse.
>> Colombians,>> Colombians, today I speak to you with deep emotion, with great joy. Today is the beginning of the end of suffering, of pain of tragedy of war.>> The agreement comes after four years of tense negotiations in Cuba. It sets a deadline for FARC to give up its weapons and lays out a plan to bring the thousands of fighters back into society.
Critics call it unjust, saying the group should be completely crushed and the rebels brought to justice. But opinion polls show that most Colombians support the deal, which will be voted on in a referendum before it's made into law. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia grew out of a 1960's peasant revolt, funded by ransoms and cocaine.
It's been fighting the government ever since. A lasting peace could give a boost to one of Latin America's emerging economies and deal a major blow to drug trafficking.