As the Colombian government and FARC move closer to a peace negotiation, both sides have agreed to work together to find the thousands of people who have disappeared over the past 50 years of civil war.
Official Colombian government statistics show that over 51,000 people have been registered as disappeared or missing, though the Red Cross believes the number may be closer to 75,000. BBC News reports that the government and FARC will now work together in a specialized unit to recover the remains of those killed from unmarked mass graves and locate those still living. The International Committee of the Red Cross will also assist in locating the disappeared.
This is a breakthrough for Colombia on many levels and removes a major hurdle on the path toward a peace agreement. Both sides have agreed a deadline for signing a peace agreement within six months. Since Oct. 1, FARC has stopped its rebels’ military training.