Colombians vote against historic peace agreement with FARC rebels


Washington Post:

Colombians vote against historic peace agreement with FARC rebels

BOGOTA, Colombia— Colombian voters have rejected a peace deal with FARC rebels, a surprise outcome that risks prolonging a 52-year-old armed conflict, and in doing so tossed the peace process into chaos.

By a razor margin of 50.25 to 49.75 percent, voters rejected the peace deal, a Brexit-style backlash that few were expecting.

After nearly six years of negotiations, many handshakes and ceremonial signatures, Colombia’s half-century war is not over. Not even close.

Surveys had predicted an easy win for the “yes” vote by a margin of 2 to 1. Instead the result delivers a crushing blow to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who since 2011 has pursued the peace deal with single-minded determination and to the steady detriment of his own popularity. He took an extraordinary risk by insisting that the accord — the product of tedious, grinding negotiations with the FARC-- would only be valid if Colombian voters gave their blessing.

They didn’t, and that failure has left Santos politically crippled. The president’s supporters began insisting that FARC leaders and government negotiators re-open the accord, but Santos had repeatedly warned Colombians that no such thing would be possible.

Sunday’s vote was also an extraordinary rejection of the guerrilla commanders of the FARC, who in recent months have tried to engineer a makeover of the rebels’ public image in preparation for an eventual return to politics. The outcome reveals the depths of Colombian public animosity toward the rebels, accumulated by decades of kidnappings, bombing and land seizures in the name of Marxist-Leninist revolution.

Sunday’s vote, for many Colombians, was about far more than a cease-fire with FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Many saw the country’s political and judicial integrity at stake, and the peace accord as a dubious giveaway to the rebels.

“I want peace, but not if it means kneeling down to the guerrillas,” said Bogota resident Piedad Ramos, 60. “Santos has divided and deceived the country.”





Wow. I didn’t expect that vote result. I hope and pray the cease-fire will hold.

FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño (alias “Timochenko”) said he “lamented” the results of Sunday’s vote but told Colombians the group remained committed to ending the war

Londoño now faces a major leadership test. Reopening the negotiations will almost certainly mean harsher terms for FARC leaders who have rejected the possibility of prison time. But ordinary FARC soldiers have spent months preparing to lay down their weapons and go home to their families. They will presumably remain in their jungle hideouts, and Santos said a bilateral cease-fire between the rebels and the government will remain in effect.


37.28 voted,out of the total of those who could have voted
And they basically do not trust the Farc.
And according to some analysts, the “no” they voted means the treaty would ultimately not ensure the peace they seek.
So,how will they go from here? I do not know if there is Plan B.
The areas more hardly striken by the Farc have voted " yes" and the Farc still sustain will for peace.
Prayers for Colombia…


Ceasefire is to continue.
Main political forces will be travelling tomorrow to La Habana to determine steps to follow.
President Santos acknowledges results and also
that everyone wants peace as it has been expressedly said also.
More prayers for these coming days.


Yes, there is a Plan B. Santos already got on TV last night calling for a more inclusive process this time around. Everyone I know that voted “NO” (which is almost all of the Colombians I know) just thought this was a bad deal. They want peace but not at this cost. There was too much money going to be paid to the FARC with no guarantee that the FARC would turn over its weapons or release the kidnapped people it still holds. There was no restitution or prison time for those in the FARC who stole land or murdered civilians and no repercussions on the FARC if they did not fulfill their side of the bargain. Not to mention that all of the guerrilla factions were not included in the negotiations so “peace” with the signers could very well have mean more violence from the factions remaining who would be more powerful.

Without justice, this “peace” was not real.


Thank you,Corki! It was already very late when I read the latest last night.
Complex situation And for a reason


The fact that the peace deal included an Amnesty for the FARC leadership, who are responsible for numerous war crimes, is probably the straw that broke the camels back.

Peace is not just the absence of conflict but the presence of justice. FARC must be made to pay for it’s crimes.


The scenery is more complex still…
The deal was signed,Congress approved,Farc had already said they would not change the deal,Uribe also has his followers and pressed,drug is involved,the consultation though lowered to four million persons for yes turned out a backlash.
Zones left by FArc are to be taken over by minor criminals,people are afraid of that.Other countries have offered support in the peace process.
And there is much more.
Yes,the terms of the deal looked too even handed,but it was the Colombian people who would choose
It isn’ t even clear if having everybody vote would have reverted support. It isn t known,with about 60% abstaining from voting.
Farc is determined to become a political force. For some,they were already defeated.
It will be a long healing process,and painful. Whenever they decide to start it.
They want peace,they need peace.


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