Deadline pressure for Colombia’s peace agreement

THE Tierra Grata encampment in the foothills of the Perijá mountains overlooks vast cattle ranches around the city of Valledupar. If the FARC guerrillas were still waging war on the government of Colombia, it would be the perfect spot from which to dominate this north-eastern area. But the 160 members of the FARC’s 41st and 19th fronts who occupy the hillside camp spent a recent Sunday preparing not for battle but for a football tournament with teams from nearby towns. They are among nearly 7,000 guerrillas in 26 camps across the country who are waiting to disarm and become civilians under a peace deal, ratified last December, that ends the group’s 52-year-long war against the state.

But even as the FARC footballers warmed up, there were signs that not everything was going to plan. The camp is still under construction, which should have finished last year. The FARC’s ammunition and 7,000 firearms should have been deposited in shipping containers secured by the UN by the end of April...

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