According to Reuters, Colombians defied opinion polls on Sunday by voting against a peace agreement to end 52 years of war with the country’s largest rebel group, the FARC, or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. The deal had been widely expected to pass. Low voter turnout and an impassioned opposition to the deal, led by the nation’s former president, resulted in a defeat.
The peace deal was always a tug of war between peace and justice. The demand for justice won. Many Colombians felt that the deal was too lenient on the rebels, as it would have allowed the majority of fighters to walk away from the war without being punished.
The rebels committed crimes that many Colombians could not forgive. But the failure of the peace deal leaves big questions about what will happen to the rebel fighters next. Many of them are children who were abducted by the rebels and have known only war.
The peace deal also raised questions about the future of Colombia’s 52-year conflict. The government and the rebels have pledged not to resume fighting. But will the rebels accept a new deal that imposes tougher punishments on their leaders and fighters?
Armellini stated that all-in all this is not good news. “But it is the will of the people so I wish them well with plan B. I will be traveling to the Agriflor show in Quito (October 5-7) and I share my experience with you when I return. Please stay tuned.”
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