MEXICO CITY — Colombia’s congress approved a historic peace deal with the country’s largest rebel group on Wednesday night, raising hopes that Latin America’s longest war was finally ending.
The vote came two months after voters narrowly rejected a similar peace accord in a nationwide referendum. But after making changes to the pact, President Juan Manuel Santos decided to get it approved by lawmakers. The war, which started in 1964, has left at least 220,000 dead and drove 7 million people from their homes.
The 130-to-0 decision by the lower house, which came one day after the senate approved the agreement, paves the way for guerrilla fighters to lay down their weapons and enter the political arena. Opponents of the peace deal abstained from voting.
“Gratitude to Congress for its historic support of Colombians’ hope for peace,” Santos tweeted after the vote in the lower house.
In recent weeks, Santos and his team …