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Most Colombians Reject Santos-FARC Peace Deal, Survey Finds

By: Julián Villabona Galarza - Aug 8, 2016, 4:19 pm
If Yes does not win in the plebiscite, the Santos-FARC agreements may not be included in the Colombian legal system (YouTube)
If yes does not win in the referendum, the Santos-FARC agreements may not be included in the Colombian legal system (YouTube).

EspañolMost Colombians are unhappy with the government’s peace agreement with the FARC guerillas, according to a survey by the Ipsos Napoleon Franco company.

Fifty percent of Colombians said they would vote no on the referendum when asked whether they agree with the conclusion to the Havana peace talks between the government and FARC.

Those who said they would yes amounted to 39 percent of voters, meaning that it would be necessary to renegotiate the agreements or simply terminate the process altogether, as Colombia’s constitutional court has said the accord could not be included in Colombian constitutional law without a vote for of support from the people.

However, some say that if no wins, President Juan Manuel Santos could continue the process as one of his constitutional powers to search for peace at all costs, which doesn’t legally need a referendum.

President Santos also faces low approval ratings. It fell by five points from last month, to 23 percent.

Yet many have expressed their surprise at the low support for the peace process. There is a great deal of pessimism about what will happen in Havana between the government and FARC, since only 63 percent of Colombians think the agreements will come to fruition and force the guerrillas to demobilize.

Between June and early August, the number of those who would vote no rose from 39 to 50 percent, while those who said they would vote yes fell from 56 percent to 39 percent.

Some have suggested people associate the president’s management of the country with the peace process. Because most people disagree with the way Santos handles other policy matters, they by default also disagree with his peace effort.

Support for NO could also be rooted in the involvement of former President and Senator Alvaro Uribe Velez, who has been one of the strongest opponents of the peace process. Besides him, Senators Ivan Duque and Jose Obdulio Gaviria, highly regarded in the country, have spoken out against the peace effort.

Additionally, the campaign itself is very slow and fragmented. The parties that support yes have disagreed publicly. Officials in the Conservative Party is still unsure whether or not it will support the referendum.

The elections on the referendum for peace will convene once the final agreement between the government and FARC is final, and requires the participation of at least 13 percent of Colombians to be considered legitimate. Failure to achieve this percentage or the success of No will result in renegotiations or the end of the process.

For the full survey in Spanish, click here

Source: Revista Semana

Julián Villabona Galarza Julián Villabona Galarza

Julián is a reporter with the PanAm Post with studies in Politics and International Relations from the University Sergio Arboleda in Colombia. Follow him: @julianvillabona.