In Multipolarity

Reuters, Nov 13, 2016

Weeks after referendum defeat, both sides say they have drafted new agreement featuring amendments to original deal

President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, winner of 2016 Nobel Peace Prize

President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, winner of 2016 Nobel Peace Prize

Colombia’s government and the rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)  said on Saturday they agreed on a revised peace deal to end a 52-year war, six weeks after the original was narrowly rejected in a referendum amid objections it was too favourable to the rebels.

The government and FARC have been holding talks in Havana for four years. Their announcement said they had incorporated proposals from the opposition, religious leaders and others.

President Juan Manuel Santos hopes to unite the divided nation behind the new deal after the peace process was endangered by its rejection in the October plebiscite. Colombian voters were deeply split, with many worried the FARC would not be punished for crimes and others hopeful the deal would cement an end to violence.

“We call upon all Colombia and the international community… to back this new accord and its quick implementation so as to leave the tragedy of war in the past,” the two sides said in a statement. “Peace cannot wait anymore.“

Copies of the new accord will be made public from Sunday. The government has not addressed holding a second plebiscite to approve the deal, though some opposition figures were already demanding one via Twitter.

The new deal will not modify a controversial part of the accord that gives the FARC ten congressional seats through 2026 or prevent rebel leaders from eventually being elected to political posts. However, the accord will not be integrated into Colombia’s constitution and the FARC will be required to present a complete inventory of its assets, which are destined for victim compensation, Santos said in a televised address.

The modified accord also takes foreign magistrates off special peace tribunals, although there will be foreign observers, and stipulates the FARC must turn in exhaustive information about its involvement in the drug trade.

The new deal limits the work of the special tribunals to ten years and requires any investigations be opened within the first two years.


A key concern among those who voted “no” on the initial deal is that convicted rebels will not serve jail time and will instead remove land mines and do other reparations work. It seemed unlikely modifications would include prison time, but Santos said the deal would ensure FARC fighters sentenced by the special court will be restricted to certain areas, living arrangements and work hours.

An opposition suggestion that FARC leaders not be allowed to run for office once they have finished their alternative sentences was not debated with the rebels, Santos said. “It is very important Colombians understand that the reason for all peace processes in the world is precisely that rebels lay down arms and can participate in legal politics,” Santos said.

“Our process with the FARC is not and cannot be an exception.“

Former president Alvaro Uribe, who led opposition to the original accord, was not pleased with the modified deal, sources said. Uribe, who met with Santos on Saturday, said his camp and victims should be able to study the new deal before it is implemented. “I have asked the president that the texts they announce in Havana not be definitive,” he said in a statement, adding that the opposition might want to make further tweaks.

Santos won the Nobel Peace Prize last month for his efforts to end the war, which has killed more than 220,000 and displaced millions.



EDITOR’S NOTE: We remind our readers that publication of articles on our site does not mean that we agree with what is written. Our policy is to publish anything which we consider of interest, so as to assist our readers in forming their opinions. Sometimes we even publish articles with which we totally disagree, since we believe it is important for our readers to be informed on as wide a spectrum of views as possible.

Recent Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Start typing and press Enter to search

Translate »