The former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas took their seats in Congress as part of an agreement that ended five decades of war. Outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos urged the nation to protect the nascent peace and put an end to violence.
At the opening of the new Congress, one-time fighters for the FARC filed into the Lower House where they prepared to be sworn in collectively along with other members of the two chambers. Under the terms of the 2016 peace deal between the FARC and the government, the group formed a political party, kept its famous acronym as the Revolutionary Alternative Common Force, and was awarded five seats each in the 108-member Senate and the 172-member Lower House through 2026.
Santos, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the war, in his final address to Congress before leaving office on August 7th, said Colombians are witnessing a true milestone in the history.