1 year ago 0

Many Colombian’s and onlookers from around the world thought it was a sure deal. Sunday’s referendum on a truce deal with FARC rebels appeared to be a simple formality. After four years of negotiations, the deal was going to put a lid on armed conflict that has killed well over 200,000 people. However, Colombian’s surprised many around the world but voting no to the deal. The margin was extremely small—50.25 percent to 49.75 percent. The result has pushed the country into uncertainty and will be a mark hanging over the peace process with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The vote drew strong comparisons to Britain’s exit back in June. Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos was the biggest driver of the peace process and insisted that Colombian’s needed to vote in order for it to be a valid agreement. Surveys held before the election predicted that “yes” would win by a huge margin-two-to-one to be exact. Instead, voters let Santos down-especially since he stated that there was no plan b if the referendum were voted down.

“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,” reported the Washington Post.

Many who opposed the deal stated that it was too lenient on the FARC-a terrorist group according to the U.S. The deal granted amnesty to most fighters. Others who have committed serious war crimes would be sentenced and judged in special tribunals that would give reduced sentences, such as community service clearing land mines. Many found this to be unfair, especially after years of horrific crimes against the people of Colombia.

Turnout was extremely low and was exacerbated by bad weather along the Caribbean coast where support for the government is the highest. Many are saying that it played a decisive role in the outcome of the vote.