econintersect.com
       
  

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.



posted on 22 September 2016

As Colombia Prepares To Vote For Peace With FARC, A Former President Says No

from The Conversation

-- this post authored by Karl McLaughlin, Manchester Metropolitan University

A date with destiny is bearing down on the people of Colombia, who will soon vote on whether to accept a historic peace deal struck between the government of President Juan Manuel Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The agreement will formally end a 52-year war that has claimed an estimated 220,000 lives (most of them civilian), seen thousands kidnapped, and made millions more refugees in their own country.

To help secure peace and start the healing process, various public figures have publicly forgiven FARC insurgents for kidnapping or murdering members of their families. Ángela Mar'a Giraldo was among victims invited to attend the Cuba-brokered peace talks in August 2014 in Havana, where she came face to face with the man responsible for the abduction and subsequent killing of 11 Colombian MPs, including her brother Francisco Javier, in 2007.

As she put it in an interview:

"It was difficult but I was prepared to put the past behind for the sake of a real prospect of peace."

Given the war's terrible cost, a Yes vote in the hope of a lasting peace might sound like a foregone conclusion. But even with the negotiations done, the hard work is far from over.

Much depends on Santos' predecessor, Álvaro Uribe, who is spearheading the vociferous campaign to veto the agreement. Noted for the hard line he took against the FARC while in office, and for his conviction that the conflict demanded a military solution, Uribe appears far less willing than many of his political colleagues to forgive the FARC for its past crimes - not least the assassination of his own father in Antioquia in June 1983, for which the rebels have repeatedly denied responsibility.

But Uribe's bitter opposition isn't just a personal grudge, and his Centro Democrfltico party is backing his campaign. He and they consider the deal a "surrender" to the FARC, and they've been mobilising popular support to block it. Uribe has the backing of several influential political figures, who have vowed to continue with their campaign even if Colombians vote Yes.

No, no, no

Among the main bones of contention for Uribe and his followers is the decision to grant impunity to FARC guerrillas, particularly commanders behind atrocities such as massacres and those responsible for the systematic recruitment of child soldiers.

But the government is at pains to point out that, unlike certain other countries' historic peace accords, which granted insurgents and militants blanket amnesties, the Colombian agreement draws a clear distinction: guerrillas who confess fully to past crimes may receive reduced sentences or benefit from non-custodial measures, but those who do not will face prison terms of up to 20 years.

Protesting against the ceasefire in Medellin. EPA/Luis Eduardo Noriega

A second major sticking point for Uribe and co. is the decision to allow FARC leaders and members to participate in mainstream politics. They are horrified at the prospect of FARC stalwarts - especially the group's current commander-in-chief Rodrigo Londoño Echeverry, better known as Timochenko - taking elected positions with official, public responsibilities.

But even if they agree in essence with Uribe's main complaints, more than a few Colombians are suspicious about the true motives behind his opposition. They attribute his repeated attempts to sabotage the process to his well-known rivalry with Santos, who served as his defence minister until 2009, and who succeeded him as president when he was legally blocked from standing for a third term.

Uribe is also thought to be secretly furious at the prospect that Santos could win the Nobel Peace Prize for ending the world's longest-running conflict. That would overshadow Uribe's own vital contribution to peace: weakening the FARC militarily to the point that it had little option but to come to the negotiating table.

The October 2 referendum will therefore determine not only Colombia's future, but also Uribe's. If the country votes Yes, his political fate will be sealed.

No-one underestimates his influence - not least Santos, who has made a last-ditch effort to get Uribe to publicly endorse the process, or at least keep his opposition private.

While he and many others have advised Uribe to cement his reputation as a statesman by not standing in the way of a Yes vote, his opposition appears too firmly entrenched to waver from his current position. It's all summed up in his campaign's rather baffling, counter-intuitive slogan:

"Say Yes to Peace by saying No in the Referendum."

The ConversationKarl McLaughlin, Senior Lecturer in Spanish, Manchester Metropolitan University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical News Post Listing










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.



You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.





Econintersect Contributors


search_box

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF


The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.


Take a look at what is going on inside of Econintersect.com
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Joan Robinson’s Critique of Marginal Utility Theory
The Truth About Trade Agreements - and Why We Need Them
News Blog
Five Amazing Ways Plants Have Created New Technologies
Where U.S. Weekly Wages Go The Furthest
What We Read Today 09 December 2016
How To Stop Using Filler Words Like Um And Uh
02 December 2016: ECRI's WLI Growth Index Improvement Continues
Preliminary December 2016 Michigan Consumer Sentiment Highest Since Early 2015
October 2016 Wholesale Sales Improved
Rail Week Ending 03 December 2016: Finally A Positive Month
November 2016 CBO Monthly Budget Review: Total Receipts Up by 1 Percent in the First Two Months of Fiscal Year 2017
Infographic Of The Day: Copyright - Illegal Download
Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Oil Steady, Bank Mafia, Trump To Remain TV Producer, US Life Expectancy Down, India Stocks Suffering, Park Impeached, China Struggles To Support Yuan And More
Heavy Metal And Hard Rock Albums That Went Certified Diamond Status
Down The Drain: Wastewater With The Most Cocaine
Investing Blog
Investing,com Weekly Wrap-up 09 December 2016
Are Your Trade Entries Patient Enough?
Opinion Blog
Looking At Everything: Trump's $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
The Global Financial Mess Is Due To Political Failure
Precious Metals Blog
Silver Prices Rebounded Today: Where They Are Headed
Live Markets
09Dec2016 Market Close: Wall Street Closes On A New High, Trump Sugar High, Crude Prices Testing Resistance, US Dollar Melts Higher
Amazon Books & More






.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government



Crowdfunding ....






























 navigate econintersect.com

Blogs

Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day
Weather

Newspapers

Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government
     

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed
Google+
Facebook
Twitter
Digg

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution

Contact

About

  Top Economics Site

Investing.com Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2016 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved