Colombia referendum rejects peace deal with Farc guerrillas

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Agreement reached by the federal government of Juan Manuel Santos cannot win public approval

Colombians have actually turned down a peace offer to end 52 years of war with Farc guerrillas, tossing the nation into confusion about its future.

With counting finished from 98% of ballot stations, the no vote led with 50.23% to 49.76%, a distinction of 61,000 votes.

The decision on the offer in between the federal government of Juan Manuel Santos and the Farc reached after 4 years of extreme settlements implies it can not now not be executed.

Polls prior to the vote forecasted yes would win with a comfy 66% share. Santos had actually been positive of a yes result and stated throughout the project that he did not have a fallback which Colombia would go back to war if the no vote won. His challengers, led by previous president Alvaro Uribe, stated a win for their side would be a required for the federal government and rebels to work out a much better arrangement.

Both federal government and rebels have actually consistently stated that the offer was the very best they might attain and a renegotiation would not be possible.

Farc leaders viewed the outcomes on tv from Havana however did not right away respond to the result of the referendum. Santos was holed up with his working out group at the governmental palace analysing the outcomes.

Under the contract declined by citizens, the Farcs 5,800 fighters and a comparable variety of city militia members would have deactivated and end up being a legal political celebration. A bilateral ceasefire has actually been in impact considering that 29 August and it doubts whether that will stay in location.

Antono Sanguino, leader of the Green celebration that promoted the yes vote stated the outcomes of the plebiscite leave the nation in a circumstance of vertigo.

Half of the citizens were persuaded by a discourse of hate, he informed Caracol tv. Not even the promoters of no understand exactly what occurs now.

Meanwhile, advocates of the no project openly connected to the Farc.

Francisco Santos, previous vice president, stated leaders would be offered all the assurances to continue settlements for this peace procedure to have an excellent conclusion.

Both the Farc and federal government had actually thought that was exactly what they had actually reached.

In an event on 26 September, with UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, and a lots Latin American leaders on hand as witnesses, Santos and Farc leader, Timochenko, signed the offer their arbitrators had actually reached after 4 years of talks in Havana.

In the days preceeding the vote, Farc leaders hurried to make a round of public apologies to their victims in an effort to improve assistance for the yes vote. On Thursday, primary rebel mediator, Ivn Mrquez, provided the neighborhood of Bojay, Choc, where the 2002 battle of a church eliminated 119 individuals, with a brand-new crucifix. At a comparable occasion on Friday in Apartad, Antioquia, the website of a 1994 Farc massacre of 35 individuals, Mrquez stated it never ever ought to have taken place.

On Saturday UN keeps an eye on manage the Farcs damage of over 620 kilos of dynamites in a remote corner of the nation. The group likewise guaranteed to provide an accounting of their possessions to be utilized to fix victims of the war, regardless of having formerly stated they had no cash.

But the apologies and assures appear to have actually come too late.

The offer would have permitted rebel leaders to prevent prison time if they admit to their criminal offenses such as killing, kidnapping, indiscriminate attacks, and kid recruitment, something that numerous Colombians discovered difficult to swallow.

By promoting a no vote, Uribe argued that he did not support ongoing war however rather wished to require the federal government and Farc to renegotiate a much better offer. Peace is amazing, he stated after casting his vote. The texts from Havana are frustrating.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/02/colombia-referendum-rejects-peace-deal-with-farc