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Colombia's President, Rebels Announce Breakthrough in Talks

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the leader of the country's largest rebel group announced on Wednesday an important breakthrough in peace talks that sets the stage to end Latin America's longest-running armed conflict.

In a joint statement from Cuba, Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia said they have overcome the last significant obstacle to a peace deal by settling on a formula to punish belligerents for human rights abuses committed during a half century of bloody, drug-fueled fighting.

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Colombia Leader, Rebel Chief to Cuba in Push for Peace Deal

Colombia's president and the head of the FARC rebel group were due to meet in Cuba on Wednesday in a push to seal a peace accord and end a half-century guerrilla war.

After nearly three years of stop-and-start peace talks in Havana between the Bogota government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), President Juan Manuel Santos announced the surprise trip on Twitter, saying: "Peace is near."

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Venezuelan Military Plane Crashes on Colombia Border

A Venezuelan military plane crashed on the border with Colombia during an operation to intercept an "illicit aircraft," with the fate of the two pilots unknown, the government said Friday.

The two countries have been locked in a border conflict for a month, after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of part of the frontier, saying some of his military were attacked during an anti-smuggling operation by Colombian paramilitaries.

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Two Killed as Tom Cruise Movie Crew Plane Crashes in Colombia

Two people died when a plane carrying crew members from a film starring Tom Cruise crashed in Colombia, aviation authorities and Universal Pictures said.

The crew had just wrapped up production on the upcoming Doug Liman film "Mena," when it went down on Friday while returning to Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport in Medellin.

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Venezuelan President Closes more of Border with Colombia

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro late Monday said he had ordered more of his country's vast border with Colombia closed amid a diplomatic crisis over deportations and smuggling.

"I have decided to close the border crossing at Paraguachon, Zulia state," Maduro said in a televised address. He said he would send an additional 3,000 troops to the area.

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Army: Four FARC Rebels Killed in Colombia Clash

The Colombian army said Saturday four FARC rebels were killed and three others wounded in a clash with troops conducting an operation in the central department of Meta.

The army said that among the dead was the head of finances for a FARC unit active in the area.

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Colombia Issues Arrest Warrants for 22 Army Officers

Colombia has issued arrest warrants for 22 active and retired army officers and two civilians for their alleged involvement in an extrajudicial execution of 18 people, prosecutors said.

Sixteen of the killings occurred in 2007 during a military campaign in the Cesar department, with the victims initially recorded as combatants, they said late on Wednesday.

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Venezuela, in Spat with Colombia, Nabs 32 Paramilitaries

Venezuela has arrested 32 alleged paramilitaries leading smuggling rings since it closed part of its border with Colombia, a top official said Tuesday.

They were captured after intelligence was gathered on such rings, Diosdado Cabello, the national assembly speaker and the country's de facto number two official after President Nicolas Maduro, told official media.

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Colombian President Tours Tense Border City

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos visited a tense border city Saturday amid an escalating row with neighboring Venezuela that triggered deportations and the exodus of thousands of Colombians back home.

"I am here to make sure our fellow Colombians get the services they need," Santos said as he began the tour of Cucuta, a far northeastern city of about 700,00 with close business ties to Venezuela and which has been on edge.

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U.S. Sanctions FARC Members for Swiss-Based Operation

The United States on Thursday sanctioned four members of a Colombian rebel group for their alleged role in narcotics trafficking and money laundering in Switzerland.

The sanctions freeze any assets of the four may have under U.S. jurisdiction, and prohibits Americans or U.S. entities from engaging in transactions with them.

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