Thursday, February 4, 2016

$450 million of your tax dollars off to Colombia.

Colombia-Farc peace process to receive $450m in US aid

President Juan Manuel Santos and President Obama at the White HouseImage copyrightGetty Images
Image captionIt was "an incredible moment of promise" for Colombia, Mr Obama said
President Barack Obama has said he will ask the US Congress for $450m (£309m) in aid to help Colombia implement a peace deal with the Farc rebel group. 
The proposed funding will also support de-mining, humanitarian and counter-narcotics projects, he said.
The aid was announced after President Obama held talks at the White House with his Colombian counterpart, Juan Manuel Santos. 
He told Mr Santos the US would be "your partner in waging peace". 
It was "an incredible moment of promise" for ending the long-running conflict in Colombia, he said.
Mr Santos has said he expects his government to sign a peace deal with the Farc next month. Both sides have agreed a 23 March deadline to reach an agreement.
It comes after Farc rebels said they were willing to lay down their weapons after five decades of conflict. 
Farc fighter Juliana, 20, on 6 Jan 2016Image copyrightAP
Image captionFarc fighters like 20-year-old Juliana will rejoin civilian life if a peace deal is implemented
Peace negotiations were launched in Cuba in November 2012.
The post-conflict period "is more difficult than the process itself", said Mr Santos.
The Farc, which was founded in 1964, will give up its armed struggle and join the legal political process.
Last week, the United Nations Security Council voted to accept a request from the Farc and the Colombian government to appoint a mission to oversee the end of the conflict.
Media captionColombia 'confident' of Farc peace deal, says president
"This is really a step that makes the process irreversible," Mr Santos told the BBC on Wednesday.
He added the rebels also agreed to "cut every link that they have with drug trafficking", as part of the accord.
"They recognise that they have financed themselves through drug trafficking, or taxing the drug traffickers. That's what they say.
"And they will in a way help us, especially in those remote areas, to convince the peasants to switch to legal crops," he said. 
Colombia is the world's top producer of cocaine.

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