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Colombia to cut attacks on Farc rebels

File photo of Colombian soldiers on patrol. Credit: Reuters

The Colombian government and leftist rebels have announced that they will seek to work out a full ceasefire that would end conflict that has lasted over fifty years.

Colombia has agreed to scale down military action if the guerilla group known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) suspends all attacks.

The de-escalation is scheduled to begin on 20th July, said a joint statement read in Havana, where the two sides have been negotiating on a peace accord for almost three years.

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'Matching sombreros' for Charles and Camilla

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall don sombreros during a visit to the Museo del Oro Credit: PA Wire

Colombian dignitaries gave the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall some much-needed protection from the blazing sun - his and hers matching sombreros.

Charles and Camilla tried on their gifts and posed for a picture as they toured an exhibition showcasing traditional crafts from across the Latin American country.

The black and white hats, made from woven palm leaves, are called Vueltiao and are worn by peasants and cattle ranchers from the coast.

Charles and Camilla were visiting a gold museum showcasing fabulous treasures from the Latin American nation's early history.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are on a nine-day visit to Colombia and Mexico.

Prince Charles and Camilla arrive in Colombia

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall arriving in Botoga. Credit: PA

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have begun a nine-day visit to Colombia and Mexico.

On arrival in Colombia's capital Bogota yesterday, Camilla was presented with the gift of a snakeskin handbag by Mario Hernandez, the founder of the South American luxury fashion brand that bears his name.

Hernandez and his wife said they had also created a "casual" handbag for the Duchess of Cambridge that they hope Camilla will take back to the UK for Kate.

The prince and duchess' deputy private secretary Simon Martin said that the pair's visit will tackle areas including supporting victims of domestic and sexual violence, defence links and the fight against drugs and crime.

Lightning strike kills 11 in remote Colombian mountains

At least 11 people were killed when lightning struck a small indigenous village in mountainous northern Colombia.

Colombian rescue workers and army officers transport victims. Credit: Reuters

The incident, which occurred in Colombia's Sierra Nevada mountains, left over a dozen other people seriously injured.

Mauricio Blanco, an indigenous administrative official, said the tragedy was unprecedented; "Yes, we've had small tragedies from flashes of lighting that have happened in the mountains, but not like this, of this magnitude, that hit directly over a ceremonial house belonging to the people of the sierra."

The injured, who suffered burns, were evacuated by military helicopter to the city of Santa Marta. The government's emergency management unit said it would send a team to the site

The growing problem of the Escobar hippos

Notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar has left the Colombian countryside a strange legacy.

On his jungle ranch 200 miles northwest of Bogota in the 1980s, Escobar built himself a small zoo and smuggled in elephants, giraffes and - among other things- four hippos. When the ranch was seized in the 1990s all the animals were impounded, except the hippos.

The hippos thrived and bred well. Now nobody knows for sure how many of them there are or what to do with them. Local environmental chiefs estimate between 50-60, with most still living in the lake at the ranch.

In 2008, National Geographic filmed the Escobar hippos.

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