The Americas

Colombia court gives Santos power to quickly implement peace

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has gotten a major boost in his bid to deliver peace with the country's Constitution Court granting him "fast-track" authority to quickly implement reforms mandated by an accord with leftist rebels.

The court's 8-1 decision Tuesday clears the way for the pro-government congress to begin passing controversial legislation, some of which require changes to the constitution. The most immediate priority is an amnesty for hundreds of jailed rebels.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia celebrated the decision after warning that the government was dragging its feet implementing a revised peace deal signed last month.

Opponents of the accord say the court's decision flouts the constitution because it ignores the will of voters who narrowly rejected the original version of the peace deal in a referendum.