Colombians favoring peace deal by a razor-thin margin
A referendum on Colombia’s peace deal with leftist rebels was going far worse than expected for the government Sunday, with those favoring the deal leading by a razor-thin margin with more than half the votes counted.
Polls taken before the national referendum, in which voters were asked whether they wanted to ratify or reject a deal ending a half-century of hostilities with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, had pointed to the “yes” vote winning by an almost 2-1 margin. But with 69 percent of polling stations reporting, just 50.1 percent favored the accord while 49.9 percent rejected it — a difference of less than 10,000 votes.
The government hadn’t taken victory for granted after a highly polarized campaign that exposed how steep a challenge it faces implementing the 297-page accord and bringing about real reconciliation. Colombians overwhelmingly loathe the FARC, which the U.S. considers a terrorist group, and many consider provisions in the accord that would spare the rebels jail time an insult.