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Colombia is one step away from ending the oldest armed conflict in the Western Hemisphere.

Alberto Roque/AFP/Getty Images

You may have read that before, because peace talks between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the country’s largest leftist insurgency, have dragged on for more than three years now. But now it’s actually true.

On Tuesday, negotiating teams are expected to announce an agreement on the fifth and final agenda item in the seemingly interminable peace process: how to deal with victims of Colombia’s half-century of armed conflict. The “comprehensive system of truth, justice, reparation, and guarantees of non-recurrence” established by the latest accord, the text of which has already been signed and made public, would apply to all conflict actors, including guerrillas, soldiers, politicians, paramilitaries, and their private sector financiers. 

Politically, the most significant immediate takeaway is that the worst human rights violations will not be white-washed, as the talks’s more hysterical right-wing opponents—in Colombia and the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page alike—have long prophesied they would. 

That’s not to say the agreement is perfect. But two sides have succeeded in finding broad common ground where three years ago there wasn’t any.