by the El Reportero’s wire services
The victory of NO in the referendum on the agreement of peace signed between the Bogota government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’’s Army (guerrilla) is devastating news, declares today’s daily La Jornada.
The Colombian government has been in a violent civil war with the leftist rebel group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — better known as FARC — for 52 years. The protracted, bloody civil war has been a national tragedy for Colombia, with FARC’s thousands of kidnappings tearing families apart all over the country.
Despite the slim margin and low attendance to the polls, the negative to the most difficult, consistent and transcendent peace process in that country leaves the impression that the majority of Colombians is in favor of continuing the armed conflict, affirms the editorial of La Jornada.
The rejection to peace accords seems to constitute, also, a slap to the government, international organizations, personalities of the world scenario who supported actively and enthusiastically the negotiations between the Casa de Nariño and the oldest guerrilla organization in America, it says.
It also seems a signal of support to the war and militarist sectors and interests of the South American nation, beginning with former president Alvaro Uriber and the most stubborn sectors of the armed forces and the group of enterprises that for decades have prospered with the security business and the sale of weapons.
The newspaper affirms that the government of president Santos has been put into a position, due to the unexpected result of the referéndum, in a weakened position, while the guerrilla group was put into an indefinite and highly dangerous situation for their members who already had begun to concentrate preparing for their demobilization and handing out their weapons.
One of the main factors which determined this catastrophic result was the publicity campaign intoxicating public opinion by the oligarchic rightwing forces that have as target the demential total annihilation of the FARC or, at least, an unconditional surrender of its troops with no more destination than prison, explains the text.
The editorial argues that, significantly, that propaganda operative had a much greater impact in the big cities, in which most of the voters live and in which the No was majority.
La Jornada alerts that what follows is uncertain. The defeat of the peace side does not mean an automatic resuming of hostilities, but represents a push in that direction, although in strictly legal terms the only linking consequence is that both parts will have to renegotiate peace in different terms.
It also warns of a perspective difficult to realize, due to the enormous difficulties they had to overcome in order to achieve an acceptable document both for government and insurgents and the little time for Santos’ mandate to end.
On the other side, both for FARC and the government they have adopted transcendent peace decisions that cannot be easily reverted. The first approved in assembly its conversion to political force, while the second decreed an end to hostilities.
Even though none of both sides has now a defined and clear legal framework to apply their decisions, it is expected that the fragile truce established in the Havana negotiations, be maintained, concludes the editorial.