Last week, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leader Timoleon Jimenez signed a peace deal in an attempt to end the 52-year-long war that has been taking place in the country. Colombian voters, however, decided to block the passage of the peace deal, with the “no” vote coming out with a narrow victory of 50.24%.
President Santos addressed Colombia after the results of the vote were announced, saying that he was disappointed in the outcome but would continue working to achieve peace. The Colombian military and FARC are still currently under a ceasefire.
Former Vice President Francisco Santos celebrated the blocking of the deal, saying he hoped that the government would negotiate a better deal with FARC. “The ‘no’ victory is a victory for peace with justice, it is a victory for a peace with pardon and reconciliation. The triumph of the ‘no’ is the triumph of a more inclusive peace, peace which includes us all, a more stable peace,” he explained.
Opposition to the deal was led by former President Alvaro Uribe and critics claimed the deal appeased the drug cartels rather than punishing them.
President Santos had stated before the referendum that there was no backup plan for ending the war if the deal failed, so it is currently unknown what will happen next. However, it is presumed that if no new deal is negotiated within several months, the ceasefire will be lifted and the rebels and government will resume fighting.