With the country’s future still in doubt after last weekend’s failed referendum on a peace proposal that would’ve formally ended 52 years of war, Colombia’s government and FARC today both expressed a willingness to hear all proposals for adjustments that might make the peace deal more palatable to voters.
That seems no small task, with polls projecting the weekend vote to be two to one in favor of the peace deal, and instead a very narrow loss with a small turnout. Former President Alvaro Uribe championed the “no” vote and has been pushing for reforms, claiming the deal offers too much to FARC.
Under the deal, FARC fighters are given immunity from prison sentences, and some guaranteed representation in the nation’s parliament. The group tried to sweeten the deal somewhat by offering to make voluntary reparations payments to victims of the conflict.
President Santos says he remains optimistic that the peace deal is possible, and has vowed to make finalizing the deal his primary goal for the rest of his term. At the same time, it’s unclear how easy it will be to “toughen” up the peace deal after the fact to sell voters on it, while keeping FARC on board. A delicate balance will have to be found.