Colombia: Making Peace with Guerrillas

At noon, activity throughout the country stopped for two minutes. People at office windows, on the street or in buses waved white handkerchiefs. Car horns blared, church bells pealed, and radio and television stations broadcast the national anthem. In downtown Bogota, more than 10,000 people gathered in silence as 1,000 doves were released from the parliament building. The occasion: the beginning of an unprecedented yearlong truce between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (F.A.R.C.), the largest of the country's five leftist guerrilla groups.

Although President Belisario Betancur Cuartas has...

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