The Americas

Colombia congress adopts amnesty for rebels under peace pact

Both houses of Colombia's congress have approved legislation on amnesty for leftist rebels under the government's peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia to end a half century of conflict.

The measure covers most offenses committed by fighters but it does not absolve any guerrillas who committed war crimes or human rights violations during a war that caused more than 220,000 deaths and displaced nearly 6 million Colombians.

The Chamber of Deputies passed the measure Wednesday morning, and the Senate followed suit later in the day.

Amnesty was a key step in implementing the peace deal, which calls for FARC fighters to begin disarming at U.N.-monitored camps across Colombia. Officials said Wednesday that 27 demobilization sites are under construction.