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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Ex-FARC rebels sworn into Colombia's Congress Friday July 20,2018

Colombia's former FARC Rebels have taken their seats in Congress as part of a peace deal after more than five decades of war against the government.

At the swearing-in ceremony on Friday July 20,2018, outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos, who signed the landmark agreement in 2016, urged the country to protect nascent peace and put an end to violence. 

Under the terms of the 2016 peace deal between the FARC and the government, the group formed a political party, kept its famous acronym as the Revolutionary Alternative Common Force, and was awarded five seats each in the 108-member Senate and the 172-member lower house through 2026.

Zeuxis Pausias Hernandez, a FARC leader also known as Jesus Santrich, was unable to take his seat in the House of Representatives because he is under arrest on charges of drug trafficking. He was detained on April 9 after the US justice department requested his extradition.

Protesting his detention, another prominent FARC leader, Ivan Marquez, withdrew from his seat, accusing the government of breaching the peace deal. Former FARC rebel, Israel Zuniga, also known as Benkos Bioho, took his seat instead

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