Colombia swears in new president, fate of FARC deal in limbo
Colombia has sworn in a new president, Ivan Duque, who has been critical of the previous administration’s landmark peace deal with FARC, formerly an armed rebel group.
In his inaugural speech to the nation on Tuesday, Duque vowed to fight corruption, revive the country’s economy, and take “corrective measures” in the landmark peace deal signed between former president Juan Manuel Santos and FARC in 2016.
Duque, 42, who is a political newcomer hailing from the Democratic Center Party and is considered business-friendly, said he wanted the former FARC rebels who had been accused of war crimes to be brought to justice, even though they had laid down their arms and agreed to other terms under the deal.
He said his administration would “deploy corrective measures to ensure that the victims get the truth, proportional justice, reparations, and no repetitions of the past.”
But it was unclear whether he would seek to scrap the deal with FARC or modify its terms, and whether the former rebels would be ready to renegotiate.
The deal between FARC and the Santos administration ended the country’s brutal five-decade civil conflict.
The formerly leftist guerilla organization is now a legitimate political party known as the Revolutionary Alternative Common Force. The group’s members won several seats in parliamentary elections last month.
The new president of Colombia is also taking the helm at a time of tensions with Venezuela. Caracas has accused Santos of being behind a failed assassination attempt against President Nicolas Maduro.