>> Colombia's government and FARC rebels signing a historic ceasefire deal Thursday. Taking a big step closer to ending Latin America's last major insurgency and more than half a century of war. Reuters correspondent Julia Cobb is in Colombia's capital of Bogota where large crowds celebrated as the proceedings unfolded.
>> The signing of a cease-fire agreement between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC rebels and the Colombian government today in Havana, Cuba is so far the most important step in peace negotiations to end the country's 52 years of war. The deal which gives details about how the FARC will de-mobilize under a final peace deal and sets up parameters for how they can give up their arms.
And reintegrate into society is a definitive step which analysts are calling historic.>> The deal caps three years of peace talks in Cuba but it also closes the book on a conflict that most citizens have dealt with in one way or another for their entire lives.>> The FARC has been fighting the government since 1964.
They began as a peasant revolt in the mountains of Columbia and eventually began trafficking cocaine and other drugs to fund their rebel activities. It's killed over 220,000 people, displaced millions, and led to injuries. And other sorts of harm for millions and millions of other Colombians. The cease fire begins after a final deal is signed, which President Juan Manuel Santos has said will be on or before the 20th of July.
Both Santos and the rebel leader Timochenko took pains in their speeches today in Havana to emphasize that this is part of a process that will create a Colombia that many Colombians don't recognize after 52 years of war.>> But not every Colombian supports the peace process. President Santos will now have to convince opponents to back it in the referendum, which will be held after the final deal is signed in July.