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Hundreds protest at killings of Colombian former rebels

HUNDREDS of Colombians have marched in front of congress to mourn the killings of hundreds of former rebel fighters following the signing of a peace deal with the government that ended five decades of war.

Tuesday’s protest was organised by human rights groups amid rising concern about attacks on civilians in rural pockets of Colombia, where violence persists despite a 2016 peace deal between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

“All lives must be lived fully,” said Let’s Defend Peace activist Gloria Arias. “We are here to ask armed groups who are killing those who want to build peace to stop their violent actions, once and for all.”

According to the United Nations, more than 400 former Farc fighters have been murdered since they laid down their guns in 2016, including 47 last year.

President Gustavo Petro’s administration has signed ceasefires with the National Liberation Army and the EMC, a group led by former Farc fighters who did not join the 2016 peace deal, but little progress has been made on other issues.

The killings of former Farc fighters have largely occurred where the EMC and the ELN are fighting for territorial control, with some of the former combatants being threatened for refusing to join those who are still in arms.


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