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Colombia REJECTS Peace Deal With FARC Terrorists, Votes To Continue War

Photo: REUTERS/National Police/Handout

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Colombian voters narrowly rejected to ratify a peace deal Sunday struck between the Colombian government and terrorists, which would have ended 52 years of civil war.

Just over 50 percent of voters who turned out to the polls struck down the peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (better known by the Spanish acronym FARC). The peace deal between President Juan Manuel Santos’s government and the Marxist rebels was negotiated in Havana, Cuba. They have been talking things out since November 2012, and an agreement was finally reached in August and signed September 26.

The peace deal would have provided a process overseen by the United Nations for FARC fighters to lay down their arms and join the political process in 2018. And in 2018, the theoretically reformed terrorists would have been guaranteed 10 seats in the Colombian Congress until 2026.

The civil war killed 260,000 people over the course of a half century of conflict. Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic Church both strongly supported a peace deal to end the bloodshed.

Former Colombian President and sitting Sen. Alvaro Uribe led the “No” campaign against ratifying the peace deal. Former President George W. Bush honored Uribe with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 for the work he did to combat drug trafficking while in office.

It is unclear what is next for the Colombian government since Santos has plainly said that there is no alternative to the peace deal.

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