“Give peace a chance”, Colombians plead

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Gideon Long in Bogotá

The message from thousands of Colombians who marched through Bogotá on Monday night and lit candles in a vigil in central Simón Bolívar square was clear and aimed at their government: “Give peace a chance”.

“We’ve been killing each other for 50 years, and it’s terrible that we’re still arguing about whether the peace process is good, bad or just OK,” said Jaime Hurtado, as he joined the procession. “I fear for the process’s future.”

Mr Hurtado’s concern is well-founded. Colombia’s peace deal — agreed with Marxist Farc guerrillas in 2016 to end a conflict that had claimed over a quarter of a million lives — is under threat, just when the country needs peace most.