Colombia conflict timeline

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Guerrilla Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC as in Spanish) members escape in the middle of a combat against Colombian Army in Jambalo, Cauca, 12 July 2012.

CARTAGENA – After half a century of conflict, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the country&39;s government signed a full peace accord on Monday.

Here are key dates in Latin America&39;s longest armed conflict, which has killed 260,000 people according to Colombian authorities.

- 1964: FARC formed -

The government launches an offensive against communist groups in the centre and west of the country.

On May 27, rebel commander Manuel Marulanda Velez flees the assault with 47 other men and forms the FARC.

- 1984: First peace bid -

On March 28, conservative president Belisario Betancur launches peace talks with the FARC under a bilateral truce.

The initiative breaks down in 1987 after right-wing paramilitaries assassinate a presidential candidate from a party allied to the FARC. Further peace efforts collapse in 1991 and 2002.

- 1996: Hostages taken -

On August 30, the FARC takes 60 Colombian soldiers hostage at a military base in the south.

The raid marks the start of its strategy of mass hostage-takings, which dominates the conflict over the following years.

- 2000: &39;Plan Colombia&39; -

In June, the United States and Colombian president Andres Pastrana launch "Plan Colombia," a joint anti-narcotics strategy.

It is later broadened to include anti-guerrilla operations. Washington has spent more than $10 billion on arming and training Colombian forces.

- 2002: Betancourt captured - 

In February, the FARC kidnap Franco-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt, a candidate for Colombian president.

During more than six years captive in the jungle, she becomes an international symbol of the conflict. She is rescued by the military in 2008.

- 2011: FARC leader killed -

The FARC&39;s top commander, Alfonso Cano, is killed in a raid by the Colombian army on November 4.

Two other top leaders, Raul Reyes and Jorge Briceno, were killed in 2008 and 2010. 

Cano is replaced by current leader Timoleon Jimenez, who reaches out to the government for peace talks.

- 2012: New peace talks -

On October 4, President Juan Manuel Santos&39;s government launches new peace talks with the FARC, weakened by the loss of its top leaders.

- 2016: Peace deal -

On June 23, the FARC and the government sign a definitive ceasefire and disarmament agreement, a precursor to a comprehensive peace deal.

On September 26, they sign the full peace accord. It will be put to a referendum for ratification on October 2.