Colombia’s government, rebels sign modified peace agreement

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Humberto de La Calle, left, head of Colombia's government peace negotiation team, listens as Ivan Marquez, chief negotiator of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on Oct. 28, 2016. Colombia's government and FARC have signed a new, modified peace agreement. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan) Humberto de La Calle, left, head of Colombia’s government peace negotiation team, listens as Ivan Marquez, chief negotiator of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on Oct. 28, 2016. Colombia’s government and FARC have signed a new, modified peace agreement. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)

Colombia’s government and its largest rebel group have signed a new, modified peace agreement following the surprise rejection of an earlier deal by voters in a referendum.

Chief government negotiator Humberto de la Calle says that he and rebel negotiator Luciano Marin, alias Ivan Marquez, signed the deal in Cuba, putting an end to a half-century-long conflict that has claimed more than 220,000 lives.

Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia signed an initial peace deal on Sept. 26 amid international fanfare after more than four years of negotiations. But voters rejected it on Oct. 2 by just 55,000 votes, dealing Santos a stunning setback.

On Saturday, De la Calle said the negotiations had been intense. “We worked 15 days and nights to reach this new agreement.”

Story by the Associated Press