Sorrow for Columbia, peace fail

Reply Sun 2 Oct, 2016 10:27 pm
what to say?

or is it a fail? dunno, this may be just some vapor.
Reply Sun 2 Oct, 2016 11:56 pm
What are you talking about?
0 Replies
Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2016 12:38 am
Do you refer to this?

Colombia is left stunned after voters reject historic peace deal to end 52-year war with the FARC rebels

Voters rejected deal during referendum with 50.21 per cent 'no' on Sunday
Result dashed President Santos' plan to end war with the Marxist guerrillas
Colombians were pictured crying and protesting after hearing the results
Opponents believed the proposed pact was too lenient on the FARC rebels

0 Replies
Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2016 12:58 am
The title has Columbia with a U, which is a US university, a District and a number of towns (and islands!) across the USA. Did someone get shot again?
Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2016 09:09 am
Colombia Peace Deal Is Defeated, Leaving a Nation in Shoc

Supporters of a peace agreement that had been years in the making watched referendum results on Sunday in Bogotá, Colombia. Credit Ariana Cubillos/Associated Press

BOGOTÁ, Colombia — A Colombian peace deal that the president and the country’s largest rebel group had signed just days before was defeated in a referendum on Sunday, leaving the fate of a 52-year war suddenly uncertain.

A narrow margin divided the yes-or-no vote, with 50.2 percent of Colombians rejecting the peace deal and 49.8 percent voting in favor, the government said.

The result was a deep embarrassment for President Juan Manuel Santos. Just last week, Mr. Santos had joined arms with leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or the FARC, who apologized on national television during a signing ceremony.

The surprise surge by the “no” vote — nearly all major polls had indicated resounding approval — left the country in a dazed uncertainty not seen since Britain voted in June to leave the European Union. And it left the future of rebels who had planned to rejoin Colombia as civilians — indeed, the future of the war itself, which both sides had declared over — unknown.

Both sides vowed they would not go back to fighting.

Mr. Santos, who appeared humbled by the vote on television on Sunday, said the cease-fire that his government had signed with the FARC would remain in effect. He added that he would soon “convene all political groups,” especially those against the deal, “to open spaces for dialogue and determine how we will go ahead.”

Rodrigo Londoño, the FARC leader, who was preparing to return to Colombia after four years of negotiations in Havana, said he, too, was not interested in more war.

President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and Timoleon Jimenez, commander in chief of the FARC, vowed to continue to seek peace after Colombians rejected a peace deal in a referendum.

“The FARC reiterates its disposition to use only words as a weapon to build toward the future,” he said in a statement. “With today’s result, we know that our challenge as a political party is even greater and requires more effort to build a stable and lasting peace.”
reading the main story

The question voters were asked was simple: “Do you support the final agreement to end the conflict and construct a stable and enduring peace?” But it was one that had divided this country for generations, as successive governments fought what seemed to be a war without an end and the Marxist FARC rebels dug into the forest for a hopeless insurgency.

To many Colombians who had endured years of kidnappings and killings by the rebels, the agreement was too lenient. It would have allowed most rank-and-file fighters to start lives as normal citizens, and rebel leaders to receive reduced sentences for war crimes.

“There’s no justice in this accord,” said Roosevelt Pulgarin, 32, a music teacher who cast his ballot against the agreement on a rainy day at an elementary school in Bogotá, the capital. “If ‘no’ wins, we won’t have peace, but at least we won’t give the country away to the guerrillas. We need better negotiations.”

María Fernanda González, 39, an administrator at a telecommunications company who voted against the deal, said she simply did not trust the FARC.

“Why didn’t they turn in their arms and tell the world what happened to the people they kidnapped, as a gesture during the talks?” she asked.

Her household seemed to reflect the deep divides in Colombia, with her husband, Carlos Gallon, 42, an engineer, voting for the deal. Mr. Gallon said the country had no choice but to stop fighting.
But still, he admitted, “I understand why she is voting no.”

The referendum result overturned a timetable intended to end the FARC insurgency within months. The rebels had agreed to immediately abandon their battle camps for 28 “concentration zones” throughout the country, where over the next six months they would hand over their weapons to United Nations teams.

Under the agreement, rank-and-file fighters were expected to be granted amnesty. Those suspected of being involved in war crimes would be judged in special tribunals with reduced sentences, many of which were expected to involve years of community service work, like removing land mines once planted by the FARC.

On Sunday, the government said it had sent negotiators to Havana to begin discussing the next steps with the rebels. After the president’s statement that he was reaching out to opposition leaders in the Colombian Congress like former President Álvaro Uribe, experts predicted a potentially tortured process in which Mr. Uribe and others would seek harsher punishments for FARC members, especially those who had participated in the drug trade.

“Everyone has said, including those who sided ‘no,’ that they could renegotiate the deal, but obviously that would have political challenges,” said César Rodríguez, the director of the Center for Law, Justice and Society, a nongovernmental organization in Colombia focusing on legal issues. “It was a small majority, but a valid majority, and that has consequences.”

On Sunday night, politicians who had strongly opposed the deal were already signaling that it was time to negotiate more stringent terms with the rebels.

“We want to redo the process,” said Francisco Santos, a vice president under Mr. Uribe, who was against the deal but supports an eventual peace with the FARC. “In democracy, sometimes you win, but sometimes you lose.”

The war left brutal scars in Colombia. About 220,000 people were killed in the fighting, and six million were displaced. An untold number of women were raped by fighters, and children were given Kalashnikov rifles and forced into battle.

Opponents of a peace agreement celebrated its apparent defeat in Bogotá. Many believed it was too lenient on rebels. Credit Ariana Cubillos/Associated Press

Unable to put down the insurgency, the government turned in the countryside to paramilitary groups run by men who became regional warlords. The state seemed swept aside in the fighting.

In the end, the war lasted so long that it might have been difficult for many Colombians to forgive the FARC.

“The adults that were born before the war now number very few,” said Juan Gabriel Vásquez, a novelist who voted for the deal. “As a society, we are a massive case of post-traumatic stress, because we have grown up in the midst of fear, of anxiety, of the noise of war.”

Many people lost because of the outcome. Among them was President Santos, who had staked his legacy on the peace deal and had been rumored as a possible contender for the Nobel Peace Prize. FARC members, who had been on the run in the jungle for decades, saw their hopes of rejoining Colombia as political leaders, including 10 seats in Congress, suddenly dashed for the time being.

Perhaps the biggest winner on Sunday was Mr. Uribe, the former president, and the Colombian far right, which had vowed to defeat the deal at the ballot box. Mr. Uribe had argued that the agreement was too lenient on the rebels, who he said should be prosecuted as murderers and drug traffickers.

“Peace is an illusion, the Havana agreement deceptive,” Mr. Uribe wrote on Twitter on Sunday after casting his “no” vote.

In the end, a small majority of Colombians agreed with him.
Correction: October 2, 2016

Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2016 09:13 am
Sorry for the misspelling. I even have known the 'correct' spelling, but goofed up.

Thanks for the further info, Blickers.
Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2016 09:27 am


The United Nations applauded the maintenance of a ceasefire in Colombia despite the vote and said its special envoy, Jean Arnault, would also travel to Cuba to help the process.

"We would have hoped for a different result, but I am encouraged by the commitment expressed (by Santos and Timochenko)," U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said. "I count on them to press ahead until they achieve secure and lasting peace.

Colombians, even those who backed the "No" vote, expressed shock at the outcome and uncertainty about the future.

"We never thought this could happen," said sociologist and "No" voter Mabel Castano, 37. "Now I just hope the government, the opposition and the FARC come up with something intelligent that includes us all."

The peace accord reached in late August and signed a week ago offered the possibility that rebel fighters would hand in their weapons to the United Nations, confess their crimes and form a political party rooted in their Marxist ideology.


It was supposed to be the day when Colombians closed the book on 52 years of armed conflict. Instead, voters defied opinion polls and their president Sunday by rejecting — albeit by the slimmest of margins — a historic peace treaty that's been years in the making.

The ballots were almost evenly split with the No vote topping the Yes vote by a mere 0.5 per cent. The margin of victory was about 54,000 votes among the 12.7 million ballots cast in a plebiscite that asked voters whether or not they supported an agreement to end the war between government troops and the Marxist guerrilla group known as the FARC.

The result, a kind of Colombian "Brexit" shocked the political system and threw a four-year-old peace process into chaos. It's now unclear whether a bilateral ceasefire will hold, whether the FARC will follow through on plans to disarm, and whether a UN mission tasked with verifying compliance with the peace accords will be sent home.

"It's really a leap into the unknown," said Adam Isacson, a Colombia expert at the Washington Office on Latin America.

0 Replies
Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2016 09:35 am
Columbia and Colombia are easily confused. Add in the fact that Columbus is actually Colombo, (except when he was Colón), and the hope of applying any standards at all to the name completely dissolves.

At any rate, the head of the 40 year long rebellion has said, from exile, that he doesn't intend to pursue his rebellion by force of arms anymore, so apparently the violence is over. The reason the deal narrowly failed was that the voters felt the rebels, who had killed many Colombians, were getting off scot-free. They wanted some sort of punishment.

It seems to me that with a vote this close, (the winning "No" side only got 50.2% of the vote), that some kind of modified deal should be able to be worked out to bring a small percentage of the "No"s over to the Yes column. The referendum failed, but a modified deal would seem to be in the offing.
Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2016 11:36 am

Good article, in my opinion - it explains a lot I had forgotten or didn't know in the first place.
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Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2016 09:45 pm
Blickers wrote:
The reason the deal narrowly failed was that the voters felt the rebels, who had killed many Colombians, were getting off scot-free. They wanted some sort of punishment.

Another reason is the region where most of the yes votes were expected to come from had a major hurricane pass through on election day.
Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2016 10:14 pm
From the AP

5 p.m.

Polls have just closed in Colombia's national referendum on a peace deal with leftist rebels. Now the wait for results begins.

A few governors and lawmakers had been hoping to extend Sunday's voting by two hours to accommodate those who stayed home amid heavy rainfall caused by Hurricane Matthew along Colombia's Caribbean coast. But electoral authorities rejected the proposal.

Authorities say early results should be available within an hour of polls closing.


11 am

Heavy rains resulting from Hurricane Matthew are delaying the opening of some polling stations in rural parts of Colombia as the country votes on whether to ratify a peace deal between the government and rebels.

The Interior Ministry says 82 voting booths in La Guajira peninsula, the area hardest hit by Matthew, didn't open as scheduled due to logistical problems triggered by flooding and bad weather.

Well that certainly skewed the results.
0 Replies
Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2016 01:57 am
Blickers wrote:

Columbia and Colombia are easily confused. Add in the fact that Columbus is actually Colombo,

You're thinking of Peter Falk.
0 Replies

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