Colombian rebels have handed over almost all weapons

Colombia's Minister of Finance Mauricio Cardenas left talks with Vice President Mike Pence right during a conference earlier this month on Prosperity and Security in Central America in Miami

Colombia has been riven by internal conflict since the 1960s, as FARC and other left-wing rebels battled the military, police and right-wing paramilitaries.

Since then, the process has been blighted by ongoing violence involving other armed groups.

A fighter of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) participates in a parade in the Villa Colombia camp near San Vicente del Caguan, Caqueta province, Colombia, April 29, 2000.

"Today, Colombia received the best news in 50 years: FARC leave their weapons and words will be their only form of expression", Manuel Santos said in a statement on Tuesday.

The accord, first signed in November, was initially narrowly rejected by Colombians in a referendum before being redrafted and pushed through congress.

The process still faces harsh critics from political leaders, including former President Alvaro Uribe who said last week that if his political movement wins next year's election, changes to the implementation process will be carried out. Nearly every guerrilla at the Mariana Paez camp recalled the decade-long bloodletting that followed a previous attempt at peace in the 1980s, when as many 3,000 members of a FARC-aligned political party were gunned down by right-wing paramilitary assassins, sometimes in cahoots with state intelligence services.

The historic feat places the nation one step closer to turning a page on Latin America's longest-running conflict that left at least 250,000 people dead, another 60,000 disappeared and millions displaced.

The government also has opened peace talks with the country's second rebel group, the National Liberation Army.

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It kidnapped two Dutch journalists on June 19 and freed them five days later.

Three women were killed at a shopping center in Bogota on June 17, in a bombing blamed on a fringe extremist group.

The move, part of a 2016 peace deal, is a key part of efforts to end the long territorial and ideological conflict.

United Nations monitors said on Monday they "have the entirety of the FARC's registered individual arms stored away".

Those accused of crimes in the conflict will be tried by special courts and some will get amnesties or reduced sentences. Most are expected to do so.

There are also worries over the fate of territory and drug-trafficking operations that were previously controlled by the Farc. The state promised to develop alternative sources of revenue for growers of coca - the raw ingredient used in the production of cocaine.

Colombia's civil conflict erupted in 1964 over land rights. Their candidates are granted protection against possible attack by groups opposed to the accord.

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