At one minute past midnight on August 29, the formal ceasefire between the Colombian government in Bogota and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) came into effect—likely heralding the end of the longest conflict in the Western hemisphere after decades of fighting. There remain a few potential hurdles to lasting peace. Last week’s agreement must still pass a public referendum on October 2 to be ratified, and polls vary widely regarding public support for the arrangement’s terms. Even so, few foresee a return to arms following the recent accord. The referendum’s format, which allows for passage even if there is minimal voter participation, broadly favors an affirmative outcome, and President Juan Manuel Santos has all but staked his presidency on the promise of peace. And while a smaller leftist insurrectionist army, the National Liberation Army (ELN), remains nominally in the fray for now, they, too, are largely expected to follow the FARC’s lead in the near future.
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