The government of Colombia has pardoned around 110 Farc rebels as part of the peace deal, Colombian Justice Minister Jorge Londono said on Wednesday ,14 December.
"I believe around 300 pardons could be granted in all," the minister told a news conference. The pardons are reportedly part of a peace accord that aims to end the five-decade long conflict in the region.
According to Londono, around 5,500 more prisoners- soldiers, police officers and other agents- jailed for crimes related with the war could also be released, provided their offences are proved to be minor.
People in prison for "political crimes" will be considered for the pardons, but not those who are facing charges for serious offences such as killings, rape and torture, he said, reports AFP.
As part of the peace agreement, the rebels have said that they will give up their armed struggle. Farc recently announced that it has ousted five commanders for refusing to join the peace efforts. The regional commanders; Gentil Duarte, Euclides Mora, John Cuarenta, Giovanny Chuspas and Julian Chollo, are said to have left the base. One of them was reportedly involved in the four-year long peace negotiations held in Cuba, BBC reports.
The peace deal comes amid concerns that several rebels want to hold on to the lucrative cocaine business in the FARC-controlled region.
"The path of peace should not be hampered by a group of reckless people who, ignoring the yearnings of peace of the vast majority of our people, throw themselves off a cliff of personal ambition," said the Farc in a statement, BBC had earlier reported.
In October, voters narrowly rejected the peace deal after opponents attacked it for being too soft on the Farc rebels.
President Juan Manuel Santos then passed a revised deal through Congress where he has a majority. Nonetheless, critics maintain their stance that the deal gives impunity to the rebels and will help criminals enter politics.
At least 5,700 rebels are getting ready to put down their weapons while another 4,500 members are currently imprisoned. Around 260,000 people have been killed in the 52-year long conflict between the rebels and Colombia.