Colombian opposition slams new FARC deal as too lenientComments
Members of Colombia’s opposition have criticised the fresh peace accord between the government and FARC rebels.
They say it is still too lenient on those guilty of serious crimes and want it ratified by another referendum, not voted by Congress as is the plan.
The new peace accord will be signed on Thursday.
The signature, announced by President Juan Manuel Santos, will bring a formal end to the country’s 52-year civil war a step closer.
The revised document will be signed in Bogota between FARC leader Rodrigo Londono and Santos, who won the Nobel Peace Prize last month for his efforts to end the conflict with the insurgent group.
The government published the revised peace deal last week in a bid to build support after the original draft was rejected in an October 2nd referendum.
There were objections it was too favourable to the rebels.
Santos and Londono signed the original deal two months ago in an emotional ceremony before world leaders and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
#FARC rebels have agreed to sign a new peace deal with minor revisions with #Colombiahttps://t.co/gN3UxShqIbhttps://t.co/fULxNeZuOj— euronews (@euronews) November 23, 2016
The expanded and highly-technical 310-page document appears to make only small modifications to the original text, such as clarifying property rights and detailing more fully how the rebels would be confined in rural areas for crimes committed during the conflict.
FARC_EPeace</a> meeting in Bogotá to work out details for coming days <a href="https://t.co/PmNxWqf5bg">pic.twitter.com/PmNxWqf5bg</a></p>— FARC International (FARC_EPeace) November 22, 2016
The government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have been in talks in Havana for the last four years.
They have been hammering out a to end a conflict that has killed more than 220,000 and displaced millions in the Andean country.
The decision to ratify the revised accord in Congress instead of holding another referendum will anger members of the opposition.
Former President Alvaro Uribe spearheaded the push to reject the original accord.
He wants deeper changes to the new version, for example rebel
Colombia's FARC reject Uribe's offer to meet over peace accord https://t.co/hOzodjZkQV— Reuters World (@ReutersWorld) November 22, 2016
Five facts about the FARC
- The group was launched in 1964 during one of the most violent periods in Colombian history known as “La Violencia”
- Their objective was to sieze political power through rebellion and armed struggle
- The FARC is considered a terrorist organisation by the US and Colombia
- 40% of its members are women
- Agreement to begin peace talks came in 2011
What they are saying
“We have the unique opportunity to close this painful chapter in our history that has bereaved and afflicted millions of Colombians,” – President Juan Manuel Santos said in a televised address.
“The main thing is that the government must not give in to impunity, drug trafficking,” – opposition senator and former president Alvaro Uribe
“The second agreement has improvements which are absolutely indisputable, but there are still fundamental issues that concern us, which is why there were many Colombians, more than six million and a half, who voted no,” – opposition member Marta Lucia Ramirez echoed Uribe’s comments.