To some, the Colombian government’s historic peace deal with Marxist rebels, the FARC, that would end one of the world’s longest-running civil wars will only be fully appreciated in years to come.

Luis Moreno Ocampo, the Argentine former chief of the International Criminal Court, says the accord signed on Wednesday by Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia’s president, is “like a work by Van Gogh that only gained public recognition after he died.”

But pitted against the deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or Farc, is Álvaro Uribe, the popular former president who once led an all-out offensive against the rebels who has criticised the accord as being too lenient.

Mr Santos has promised to put his agreement with the guerrillas to an unprecedented nationwide referendum, set for October 2. But with divisions running deep, in its search for peace Colombia finds itself at a crossroads over how to end a five-decade-long conflict that killed 220,000 people and displaced almost 7m.
“One hundred per cent of Colombians want dialogue and peace,” Mr Uribe tells the Financial Times. “But many do not approve of full impunity or political eligibility for those responsible for crimes against humanity.”

Andres Schipani in Bogotá and Lucinda Elliott in London
Financial Times

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