Colombian peace agreement referendum, 2016

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Colombian peace agreement referendum, 2016
Do you support the final agreement to end the conflict and build a stable and lasting peace?
Location Colombia
Date October 2, 2016 (2016-10-02)
Results
Votes %
Yes 6,382,901 49.78%
No 6,438,552 50.22%
Valid votes 12,821,453 98.15%
Invalid or blank votes 241,464 1.85%
Total votes 13,062,917 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 34,899,945 37.43%
Results by department
Mapa de Colombia (resultados plebiscito acuerdo de paz 2016 por departamentos).svg
  Yes     No

The Colombian peace plebiscite to ratify the final agreement on the termination of the Colombian conflict between the Colombian government and the FARC guerillas was held on October 2, 2016.[1] It failed with 50.2% voting against it and 49.8% voting in favor.[2]

Background[edit]

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This article is part of a series on the
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Colombia

The aim of this vote was the direct approval or rejection by voters of the agreements signed between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in Cartagena de Indias, September 27, 2016. The peace negotiations began on August 26, 2012, in Havana, and concluded on August 25, 2016.[3][4][5] The final agreement included topics of rural reform, political participation, the end of hostilities, solutions to the production of illicit drugs, the rights of victims, and the mechanisms of implementation and verification.[6] On July 18, 2016 the Constitutional Court approved the holding of a national plebiscite to validate the peace agreement.[7] The ballot paper consisted of a single question for voters to approve or reject the signed peace agreements:

¿Apoya el acuerdo final para terminación del conflicto y construcción de una paz estable y duradera?[8]

(Do you support the final agreement to end the conflict and build a stable and lasting peace?)

For the agreement to be approved, the "Yes" votes had to account for at least 13% of the electorate (i.e., 4,396,626 votes out of a total of 34,899,945 registered voters[9]) and outnumber the "No" votes.

Campaign[edit]

Yes[edit]

President Juan Manuel Santos, who was a promoter of the peace talks, announced the support for the 'Yes' option.[10] The 'Yes' campaign received the support of many members of the Colombian community from the political left (Gustavo Petro, César Gaviria, Antonio Navarro Wolff, Piedad Cordoba), centre (Antanas Mockus, Sergio Fajardo, Lucho Garzon, Claudia López Hernández) and right (German Vargas Lleras, Enrique Peñalosa, Mauricio Cárdenas). The political parties that were in favour are the Alternative Democratic Pole, the Social Party of National Unity, Radical Change, the Independent Movement of Absolute Renovation, the Indigenous Social Alliance Movement, the Green Party of Colombia, the Colombian Conservative Party and the Liberal Party of Colombia.[11][12]

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signing the peace treaty with FARC leader Rodrigo Londono Echeverri, also known as Timochenko

Although most public figures in Colombia refused to explicitly declare their support for either the 'Yes' or 'No' vote, many indicated their support for 'Yes' through various messages. Colombia's best-known singers Shakira, Carlos Vives, Juanes and Fonseca all posted messages of support and hope for peace on their Twitter accounts.[13][14] International footballer Falcao wrote a letter to the newspaper El Tiempo in which he stated that he imagined "a country with the capacity to forgive",[15] while former Colombian striker Carlos Valderrama was more outspoken in his support, appearing at campaign rallies for the 'Yes' vote and saying he wanted a better country for his children.[16] Cyclist Nairo Quintana, who had won the Vuelta a España and come second in the Tour de France in 2016, asked his fellow Colombians to support the peace accord, describing it as "a step we had to take".[17] Novelist Héctor Abad Faciolince, whose father Héctor Abad Gómez had been murdered for his stance on human rights, expressed his happiness that an accord had been reached.[18] Internationally renowned sculptor Fernando Botero sent a sculpture of a white dove to the Colombian presidential palace, created in his signature "fat" style of portraying people and animals. It was accompanied by a message that he had wanted to create "this present for my country in order to express my support and my solidarity with this [peace] process".[19] A Twitter campaign to promote the peace process outside Colombia, entitled "#Peace4Colombia", attracted the support of Colombian-born Hollywood actor John Leguizamo and Spanish singer Miguel Bose, who holds honorary Colombian nationality.[20] Most displaced Colombian victims living outside of the country supported the Yes vote, and voted accordingly, although some were critical of having been excluded from the peace process.[21]

No[edit]

The most prominent campaigner for the 'No' vote was current senator and former president Álvaro Uribe.[22] Uribe built his career, including two terms as president, on promises to tackle the guerrilla groups in the country, and had been an outspoken critic of Santos, his successor as president, ever since Santos began negotiations with the FARC. Uribe was supported by senior members of his Democratic Center party, including the 2014 presidential candidate Óscar Iván Zuluaga, 2014 vice-presidential candidate Carlos Holmes Trujillo, and senator Iván Duque Márquez. The party presented several arguments against the peace deal, among them that the guerrillas would not serve time in prison, that they would automatically be awarded ten seats in Congress, that the deal would legalize narcotrafficking, and that in pursuing the negotiations Santos had gone beyond the terms of the Colombian constitution.[23][24]

Other senior political figures who spoke out against the peace accord were conservative former Inspector General Alejandro Ordóñez, who feared it would legitimize violence within the country,[25] and former president Andrés Pastrana, rejecting the position of his own Conservative Party.[26] As Uribe's predecessor as president, Pastrana had himself attempted to negotiate a peace deal with the FARC between 1999 and 2002.

Outside of politics, other well-known Colombians also rejected the peace deal. Novelist and filmmaker Fernando Vallejo, who was born in Colombia but who became a naturalized Mexican citizen in 2007, launched a strong attack against the negotiations during a debate at the World Summit of Art and Culture for Peace in Bogotá on April 6, 2016, describing president Santos as "shameless" and calling the FARC "thugs".[27] The strongly religious footballer Daniel Alejandro Torres, a regular starter in the Colombian national football team during 2016, published a video on his Instagram account in which he accused Santos of not placing Jesus at the heart of the negotiations.[28] John Jairo Velásquez (known as "Popeye"), the former hitman for Pablo Escobar and the Medellín drug cartel, also expressed his opposition to the accord.[14]

Opinion polls[edit]

Attitudes among Colombians have matched the elite cues from Santos and Uribe: those who support Uribe's party and preferred candidates dropped down in support for the peace process, while those who continued to support Santos did the opposite.[29] Moreover, messaging can shift support on the peace process: support for a peace process is higher than specific policies included in the peace process, and support is even lower if the policies are tied to the FARC.[30]

The following table shows the results of opinion polling from the date of the announcement of the wording of the referendum question on August 30, 2016 up to the date of the referendum on October 2, 2016.[8]

Date(s) conducted Sample size Margin of error Polling organisation/client Yes No
Aug 31–Sep 1, 2016 2109 2.13% Datexco/W Radio & El Tiempo[31] 59.5% 33.2%
Sep 1–5, 2016 1526 4.9% Ipsos Napoleón Franco/RCN, La FM & Semana[32] 72% 28%
Sep 6–8, 2016 2109 2.13% Datexco/W Radio & El Tiempo[33] 64.8% 28.1%
Sep 13–15, 2016 2109 2.13% Datexco/W Radio & El Tiempo[34] 55.3% 38.3%
Sep 14–18, 2016 1200 4.9% Invamer–Gallup Colombia/Caracol Televisión, Blu Radio & El Espectador[35] 67.6% 32.4%
Sep 15–20, 2016 3007 2.0% Cifras & Conceptos/Caracol Radio & Red + Noticias[36] 54% 34%
Sep 21–25, 2016 1524 3.5% Ipsos Napoleón Franco/RCN, La FM & Semana[37] 66% 34%
Sep 25–26, 2016 1471 3.7% Cifras & Conceptos/Caracol Radio & Red + Noticias[38] 62% 38%

Results[edit]

Votes from Colombians abroad (Colombia in yellow).
Choice Votes %
Referendum failed No 6,438,552 50.22
Yes 6,382,901 49.78
Valid votes 12,821,453 98.15
Invalid or blank votes 241,464 1.85
Total votes 13,062,917 100.00
Registered voters and turnout 34,899,945 37.43
Source: CNE

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Colombia decide el próximo 2 de octubre en referéndum si avala el acuerdo de paz con las FARC". El Mundo (in Spanish). August 25, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2016. 
  2. ^ Colombia referendum: Voters reject Farc peace deal BBC News, 3 October 2016
  3. ^ "Colombia - FARC: La cronología del proceso de paz". El Comercio (in Spanish). August 25, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2016. 
  4. ^ "El Gobierno colombiano y las FARC firman el pacto definitivo por la paz". ABC (in Spanish). August 25, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Colombia abre una nueva era al lograr un acuerdo de paz con las FARC tras 52 años de guerra". El País (in Spanish). August 25, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Histórico: El Gobierno de Colombia y las FARC ponen fin a más de 50 años de conflicto armado". RT (in Spanish). August 24, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Colombia decide el próximo 2 de octubre en referéndum si avala el acuerdo de paz con las FARC". El Tiempo (in Spanish). July 18, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b "Oficial: esta es la pregunta para el plebiscito por la paz". El Tiempo (in Spanish). August 30, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  9. ^ Registraduría Nacional del Estado Civil
  10. ^ "Presidente Santos oficializó la campaña por el 'Sí' en el plebiscito en Palmira". W Radio (in Spanish). August 30, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Partido de la U inicia gran campaña en favor del plebiscito por la paz". lafm.com.co (in Spanish). April 12, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Cambio Radical defiende su sí al plebiscito por la paz". El Espectador (in Spanish). August 30, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Shakira, Carlos Vives y Fonseca hicieron llamado de paz tras la firma de los acuerdos" (in Spanish). RCN Radio. September 27, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  14. ^ a b "Desde Juanes al Pibe, los famosos le dan el Sí a la paz". Semana (in Spanish). September 30, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  15. ^ Falcao García (September 28, 2016). "'Me imagino un país que tenga la capacidad de perdonar': Falcao". El Tiempo (in Spanish). Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Todo bien, todo bien a la paz" (in Spanish). Caracol Radio. September 29, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  17. ^ "El mensaje de paz de Nairo Quintana tras su victoria". El Espectador (in Spanish). August 29, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Fin de las negociaciones de paz es un día de alegría, dice Héctor Abad Faciolince" (in Spanish). Caracol Radio. August 25, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Pintor Fernando Botero regala 'Paloma de la paz' como homenaje a acuerdo en Colombia". El Universo (in Spanish). September 27, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  20. ^ Avila, Deisy Alejandra (September 22, 2016). "#Peace4Colombia, la campaña que une al mundo por la paz del país". El Tiempo (in Spanish). Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  21. ^ Pugh, Jeffrey D. "What displaced Colombians living abroad think about the peace efforts". The Conversation. Retrieved 2017-06-15. 
  22. ^ "Uribe dice que nada justifica participación de las Farc en política". El Tiempo (in Spanish). August 26, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Centro Democrático promoverá el "no" en el plebiscito por la paz". RCN Radio (in Spanish). August 2, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2016. 
  24. ^ Duque Márquez, Iván; Holmes Trujillo, Carlos; Zuluaga, Óscar Iván (August 27, 2016). "'La verdadera paz empieza con el No'". El Tiempo (in Spanish). Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  25. ^ "'Si el 'No' pierde sería legitimar la violencia': Alejandro Ordóñez". El Tiempo (in Spanish). September 29, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  26. ^ Cantillo Barrios, Jorge (September 29, 2016). "Pastrana se une a Uribe para apoyar el 'no' en el plebiscito". El Heraldo (in Spanish). Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  27. ^ "La violenta diatriba del escritor Fernando Vallejo". Semana (in Spanish). April 6, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  28. ^ ""Señor presidente, el centro de esta negociación no es Jesucristo"". Semana (in Spanish). September 27, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  29. ^ Matanock, Aila M.; Garcia-Sanchez, Miguel (2017). "The Colombian Paradox: Peace Processes, Elite Divisions & Popular Plebiscites". Deadalus. 146 (4): 152–166. doi:10.1162/DAED_a_00466. 
  30. ^ Matanock, Aila M.; Garbiras-Diaz, Natalia. "Considering Concessions: A Survey Experiment on the Colombian Peace Process". Conflict Processes and Peace Science. Retrieved February 9, 2018. 
  31. ^ "El 'sí' al plebiscito por la paz se impone en gran encuesta de Datexco". El Tiempo (in Spanish). September 2, 2016. Retrieved September 22, 2016. 
  32. ^ "El Sí va ganando en el plebiscito". Semana (in Spanish). September 10, 2016. Retrieved September 22, 2016. 
  33. ^ "Costa Caribe, donde más votarían 'Sí' en el plebiscito". El Tiempo (in Spanish). September 9, 2016. Retrieved September 22, 2016. 
  34. ^ "Tercera gran encuesta: 'Sí', 55,3 %; 'No', 38,3 %". El Tiempo (in Spanish). September 16, 2016. Retrieved September 22, 2016. 
  35. ^ "A 11 días del plebiscito por la paz, el "Sí" sigue siendo mayoría". El Espectador (in Spanish). September 20, 2016. Retrieved September 22, 2016. 
  36. ^ "El Sí en el plebiscito lograría el 54% según encuesta sobre intención de voto" (in Spanish). Caracol Radio. September 23, 2016. Retrieved September 23, 2016. 
  37. ^ "El Sí pierde fuerza, pero le sigue ganando al NO". Semana (in Spanish). September 27, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2016. 
  38. ^ "El Sí logra el 62% en intención de voto para el plebiscito del domingo" (in Spanish). Caracol Radio. September 27, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2016.