Violence in Colombia falls in first month of ceasefire
Colombia's ceasefire with four armed groups has led to significant reductions in violence during its first month, Interior Minister Alfonso Prada said on Monday, with fewer murders and attacks on armed forces.
Leftist President Gustavo Petro has promised to seek either peace deals or surrender agreements with armed groups to end nearly six decades of conflict in which at least 450,000 people have been killed and millions displaced.
Last New Year's Eve he decreed ceasefires with the Clan del Golfo gang, the Sierra Nevada paramilitaries and two dissident groups founded by ex-members of the FARC rebels who reject a 2016 peace deal.
Petro also initially declared a ceasefire with National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels, who are holding peace talks with his government, but backpedaled when the group said it had not agreed to the measure.
"Attacks, effects, assassinations, murders and injuries of our armed forces have been significantly reduced and the deaths of civilians have also been significantly reduced, by a very high percentage," Prada said in a video statement, accompanied by military leaders.