The Colombian people say no to the peace agreement - But hopes for a solution remain

07-10-2016

The signature of the Final Peace Agreement in Colombia on 26 September 2016 was thought to have brought a successful end to the negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla group. Negotiations between the two sides had started in Havana four years ago, and agreement had been announced on 24 August, followed by the declaration of a definitive ceasefire from 29 August 2016. This had raised expectations for a rapid end to the longest-running conflict in modern Latin America. Nevertheless, the whole process has stalled after the Colombian people said no to the agreement in the plebiscite held on 2 October 2016. The most unpopular part of the deal, the transitional justice system, as well as the low turnout, seem to have been decisive for the outcome. But there are still hopes for re-opening the negotiations, as both the 'yes' and 'no' camps have expressed their will to end the conflict; moreover the efforts have been recognised in the award of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize to President Santos. International actors have played a major role since the beginning of the process, and are ready to continue to do so in the future. In particular, the United Nations and some of its agencies, UNASUR, the Organisation of American States, and the European Union (which has appointed a special envoy), are involved. This updates a briefing published in advance of the referendum, 'Decisive step for Colombian peace agreement'.

The signature of the Final Peace Agreement in Colombia on 26 September 2016 was thought to have brought a successful end to the negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla group. Negotiations between the two sides had started in Havana four years ago, and agreement had been announced on 24 August, followed by the declaration of a definitive ceasefire from 29 August 2016. This had raised expectations for a rapid end to the longest-running conflict in modern Latin America. Nevertheless, the whole process has stalled after the Colombian people said no to the agreement in the plebiscite held on 2 October 2016. The most unpopular part of the deal, the transitional justice system, as well as the low turnout, seem to have been decisive for the outcome. But there are still hopes for re-opening the negotiations, as both the 'yes' and 'no' camps have expressed their will to end the conflict; moreover the efforts have been recognised in the award of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize to President Santos. International actors have played a major role since the beginning of the process, and are ready to continue to do so in the future. In particular, the United Nations and some of its agencies, UNASUR, the Organisation of American States, and the European Union (which has appointed a special envoy), are involved. This updates a briefing published in advance of the referendum, 'Decisive step for Colombian peace agreement'.