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1950, 02 Oct 16

Columbians Reject Peace Deal


Voters in Colombia have rejected a landmark peace deal with Farc rebels in a shock referendum result, with 50.24% voting against it.

The deal was signed last week by President Juan Manuel Santos and Farc leader Timoleon Jimenez after nearly four years of negotiations.

But it needed to be ratified by Colombians in order to come into force.


With votes in from more than 99% of polling stations counted, 50.2% opposed the accord while 49.8% supported it – a difference of less than 63,000 votes out of 13 million ballots. Turnout was low at less than 40%.

The surprise result means the peace process is now shrouded by uncertainty.

Former Vice-President Francisco Santos, who opposed the deal, said he hoped a better agreement would follow.

“The “no” victory is a victory for peace with justice, it is a victory for a peace with pardon and reconciliation. The triumph of the “no” is the triumph of a more inclusive peace, peace which includes us all, a more stable peace,” he said.

President Santos had previously warned that there was no plan B for ending the war, which has killed 260,000 people.

The result is a major setback to the president, who since his election in 2010 had pledged to end a conflict blamed for displacing about eight million people.

Even after years of war and hundreds of thousands of deaths, the people of Columbia aren’t willing to accept peace at any price.


1950, 02 October 2016


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