The Colombian President And Congress Just Passed A Peace Deal The People Didn’t Want
The Colombian Congress has ratified a new peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) bypassing that voters.
The Colombian Senate ratified the revised peace deal in a 75 to zero vote. Just days later, the Colombian House of Representatives also ratified the peace deal with a vote of 130 to zero. Sounds like it is a pretty unanimous vote, however, opponents to the deal that are in the Congress abstained from voting. The abstaining votes gave the peace deal an easy path to ratification but members against the deal were vocal about their discontent. President Juan Manuel Santos and top FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño both signed the agreement on on Nov. 24 before it was sent to the Colombian Congress.
“On signing this agreement, as president of all Colombians, I want to invite all, with an open mind and open heart, to give peace a chance,” Santos said during the signing ceremony, according to The New York Times.
Colombians voted on a referendum on Oct. 2 and voters narrowly blocked the original peace deal with the rebel group. Colombia has been plagued with civil war for the past 52 years and, according to The Washington Post, the war has killed 220,000 people and displaced 7 million people in the South American country. Part of the new peace deal would allow for the rebel group to transition from violent revolutionary army to a political party.
President Santos wasted no time in applauding and congratulating the Congress for their action.
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) December 1, 2016
“Gratitude to Congress for its historic support of Colombians’ hope for peace.”