"The justice agreement was the most complex, the most difficult,” he said. “It's a very important step to be able to end the conflict soon." Mr Santos has staked his reputation on securing a deal – despite coming up against strong hostility to a deal from his own country. Many are concerned that the government is making too many concessions to an organisation behind violence which has killed 220,000 people, and left Colombia with the largest population of internally-displaced citizens in the world.
More than 5.7 million people have been forced from their homes by the war since the start of recording official cumulative registration figures, the UN says. Tuesday’s agreement will see the creation of a truth commission to clarify what happened in the war, and promises to search for thousands of missing people, identify their remains and return them. It also attempts to ensure those affected will not be victimised again. While attempting to offer as much amnesty as possible, the courts would reduce sentences for those who admit guilt.
Those responsible for war crimes or crimes against humanity would be excluded from any amnesty. Former rebels and soldiers who confess to crimes committed during the conflict will receive five to eight-year sentences of supervised "restrictions of liberty", which would involve surveillance and monitoring but not jail. "Let's be clear: we've always said there wouldn't be prison in these cases," said Humberto de la Calle, the government's chief negotiator. Lead rebel negotiator Ivan Marquez said it was the first agreement in Colombia to forgo a general amnesty and instead "reveal all the violations of rights and all those responsible".
The three previous chapters in the five-point agreement dealt with rural redistribution of land in May 2013, political participation in November 2013, and drug trafficking in May 2014. The only outstanding issue now is final demobilisation, which will see FARC lay down their weapons and sign the concluding deal. In Sep 15 Mr Santos announced a March 23 deadline for signing the final agreement. It will then be put to a referendum in Colombia, which is likely to be exceedingly contentious. Many in the country feel that it is wrong on principal to make concessions to a group which has caused so much damage over so many years so could vote against the plan. But the government will spend heavily on campaigning for a "yes" vote.
United States – Justice Department officials announced on the 31 Dec 15 they had thwarted a Rochester man's plans to kill New Year's Eve revellers in the name of ISIS at an upstate New York bar and restaurant. Emanuel Lutchman, 25, was charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIS, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. "This New Year's Eve prosecution underscores the threat of ISIL even in upstate New York but demonstrates our determination to immediately stop any who would cause harm in its name," said William Hochul Jr., the U.S. attorney for the Western District of New York. Lutchman allegedly received direction from an ISIS member overseas and planned to attack revellers in order to join ISIS.
According to a criminal complaint, Lutchman had been in contact with a man overseas who claimed to be in ISIS. Lutchman told him he wanted to come to Syria but was informed he couldn't come now and that he should kill Americans to prove himself, according to the document. The document alleges, Lutchman met with a confidential source for the Justice Department. The source said Lutchman wanted to sneak a bomb into the restaurant and kidnap some people to kill. Authorities allege he and the source went to a Walmart and bought two ski masks, two knives, a machete, zip ties, duct tape, ammonia and rubber gloves. "The operation is a go. We just gotta do it, man," the complaint says Lutchman told the source. He also talked about making a video before the attack, FBI Special Agent Timothy J. Klapec says in the document.
The FBI said the confidential source has been paid for cooperation on another case, and has a felony and misdemeanour on his criminal record. The source paid for the items at Walmart, it said. Lutchman appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian Payson on the morning of the 31 Dec 15. The city announced that it was cancelling its fireworks show and adding police officers to patrols. The announcement comes as President Barack Obama has been seeking to calm fears in the wake of the San Bernardino, California, terrorist attack, while reassuring Americans of his strategy for handling ISIS. Obama was briefed on a possible terror threat targeting three major U.S. cities happening between Christmas and the New Year's Eve holiday.