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Colombian Senate passes framework law for peace

BOGOTA, Colombia -- Colombia's Senate has given final legislative approval to a constitutional amendment that sets the stage for eventual peace talks with leftist rebels by allowing amnesties for combatants.

The law passed Thursday on a 65-3 vote. It is backed by President Juan Manuel Santos, although there is no indication he is now engaged in talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Human rights groups object to parts of the “Legal Framework for Peace” amendment. They fear that it would let crimes against humanity go unpunished.

Opponents on the right, meanwhile, object to language that would allow FARC rebel leaders to serve in congress.

Santos has said he's open to peace talks but needs first to see clear signs that the FARC intends to halt hostilities and end a 48-year-old conflict.

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