Co­lom­bia’s for­mer pre­si­dent may al­ter coun­try’s pea­ce pro­cess

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

CO­LOM­BIA - Co­lom­bia’s for­mer pre­si­dent and cur­rent se­na­tor Al­va­ro Uri­be has shown himself to still be a po­pu­lar le­a­der ca­pa­ble of ga­thering lar­ge-sca­le sup­port for his ar­gu­ments against a pea­ce agree­ment with the re­bels.

Un­der his in­flu­en­ce, vo­ters re­jec­ted the deal with the Re­vo­lu­ti­o­na­ry Ar­med For­ces of Co­lom­bia (FARC) in last Sun­day’s re­fe­ren­dum by 50.21 per­cent to 49.78 per­cent. Co­lom­bia’s Pre­si­dent Ju­an Ma­nu­el San­tos is sche­du­led to meet Uri­be to dis­cuss how to ta­ke the pea­ce pro­cess for­ward. Uri­be’s par­ty, the De­mo­cra­tic Cen­ter, said that the agree­ment to end 52 ye­ars of ci­vil war was too le­nient by pro­vi­ding am­ne­sty to FARC mem­bers and gu­a­ran­tee­ing them seats in Con­gress. Du­ring his pre­si­d­en­cy (20022010), Uri­be, who­se fa­ther was kil­led by the FARC du­ring a kid­nap­ping at­tempt in 1983, took a tough li­ne on gu­er­ril­la groups. The for­mer pre­si­dent tried to con­vin­ce over 6.4 mil­li­on Co­lom­bi­an vo­ters of the po­ten­ti­al con­se­quen­ces of let­ting the FARC gain ac­cess to po­li­tics. Fur­ther­mo­re, his par­ty has be­ne­fi­ted from the sup­port of re­li­gious lea­ders and rightwing po­li­ti­cians, who hel­ped get the mes­sa­ge out. Du­ring one lar­ge match in the ci­ty of Car­ta­ge­na, priest Mi­gu­el Ar­ra­zo­la den­oun­ced the pea­ce pro­cess for being sup­por­ted by the govern­ments of Cu­ba and Ve­ne­zu­e­la. “We are de­li­ve­ring the coun­try to the de­vil,” said Ar­ra­zo­la du­ring the march on Sept. 26, the sa­me day that San­tos and FARC le­a­der Ti­mo­le­on Ji­me­nez sig­ned the pea­ce agree­ment. Ano­ther sec­tor of so­ci­e­ty that Uri­be ma­na­ged to con­quer in­clu­ded the fa­mi­lies of ar­med for­ces. To them, the for­mer pre­si­dent showed his in­dig­na­ti­on that the agree­ment could pla­ce sol­diers at the sa­me le­vel as FARC mem­bers du­ring the pea­ce pro­cess. “We do not agree that the Ha­va­na agree­ment (about tran­si­ti­o­nal jus­ti­ce) al­lows kid­nap­pers, drug traf­fic­kers, and ra­pists ... to not spend a day in pri­son and al­so gi­ves them po­li­ti­cal eli­gi­bi­li­ty,” Uri­be said at a ral­ly in Me­del­lin in Ju­ne. The No cam­paign pro­mo­t­ed by Uri­be most­ly tri­ump­hed in the cen­tral are­as of the coun­try, ex­cept in Bo­go­ta and Boy­a­ca. In are­as that ha­ve suf­fe­red the most from the con­flict, the Yes cam­paign do­mi­na­ted the re­sults, whi­le tho­se li­ving in ci­ties far away from the con­flict vo­t­ed against the agree­ment.


A wo­man par­ti­ci­pa­tes in a pro­test against the re­sult of the re­fe­ren­dum in the fight bet­ween the govern­ment and the Re­vo­lu­ti­o­na­ry Ar­med For­ces of Co­lom­bia.(Photo: Xin­hua)

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