Conflict in Colombia

Voters reject Colombia’s Farc Peace Deal

On Sunday, October 2nd, Colombian voters recently rejected the 4-year peace deal negotiated between the Colombian government and the Marxist FARC guerillas. This was a shocking national referendum result, with the opposition winning with only a .2% or 54,000 voters. This has left the country’s political and social state in confusion and havoc. Disappointed neighbor countries such as Chile, Cuba, and Venezuela have still urged Colombia to pursue peace.

    This ongoing conflict between these two parties have been raging for 52 years. It is one of Latin America’s longest conflicts and is estimated to have killed at least 220,000 and displaced 5 million people. After the result, peace researchers have also dropped Colombia from the list of favorites for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    The FARC started in Columbia as a peasant’s revolt in 1964, but at the height of its power, the armed group created mass terror throughout the country. This included atrocities such as cocaine trafficking, child soldiers, attacking government officials, and mass kidnappings of high-profile citizens.

    However, despite all of these deplorable actions, the consequences issued to the FARC in the peace deal were met with anger from Colombian voters. Citizens believed that these light punishments did not account for the various crimes that the group did against the country.

    The FARC’s leader, Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, has said that the referendum result would not sway the former rebels from the path of peace. It has been assumed that a ceasefire will be placed between the two opposing sides.

    As it stands, Columbia’s government is uncertain on the next course of action. It also seems to be the same for the Colombian people, who were split between dissenters and approvers.

    This was massive news in Latin America – FARC leaders in Cuba were shocked at the refusal of the peace treaty, which spoiled the celebration that they had planned as a result. Supporters of the peace treaty had also planned for a party – but sat weeping in a hotel in Bogota as the results were revealed, as written by the AP.

    The question still remains, however. Will war be imminent in an already conflicted country? And from what consequences will this bring to Latin America as a whole? It is clear that those questions have yet to be answered.