TIME

How peace—finally—came to reign throughout the western hemisphere

Male and female FARC fighters dance during a party in July at one of their camps in rural Colombia

CHURCH BELLS RANG IN THE SMALL towns of Colombia at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 29. The tolling marked the official start of a cease-fire that was years in the making and the end of a war that had dragged on for decades. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—a Marxist guerrilla group known as FARC—and the Colombian government had agreed to stop fighting, the first step toward the disarmament of thousands of FARC troops and the end of the longest-running war in the Americas. Since it began in 1964, the war had killed roughly

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