On November 12, #FARC rebel leaders and the Colombian government came to another agreement on new conditions for a #peace deal, after the first referendum was rejected in a vote put to the public by a thin majority, who felt the government was too lenient with FARC. The latest reports are now that the government has signed a new peace deal on Thursday and given to the president of Congress in order to make sure the deal went through. The conditions for the new deal no longer guarantees FARC rebels a position in Congress and appears to be a better attempt at confining the group to certain areas but, given the anger from the people who feel that FARC rebels should be imprisoned, it's hard to know if the people are going to be more accepting of new peace deal. President Santos was given the Nobel Peace Prize for making the effort the first time and even stated that by talking with those who disagreed with the initial deal, that he was making an effort to finally end the conflict. But many still feel that the new peace deal is either not enough or that the people weren't given a chance to make the final decision.
Álvaro Uribe's determination to hold FARC accountable
President Santos' determination to end the 50-year old conflict between FARC and #colombia goes past the years of effort he put in and into the new referendum as he said publicly after the first rejection, that he would make sure the deal succeed. Peace in Colombia was said to have been the more popular goal among citizens but former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe has been actively campaigning against the deal, saying that FARC should pay the price for the thousands killed over five decades. The "No" campaign he has been leading has gotten the support of Catholic and Evangelical voters and leaders, who are convinced that the peace deal was part of the government's Liberal agenda, along with the effort to legalize same-sex marriage.
According to various reports, Uribe has tried to become more involved with the writing of the new peace deal, even meeting with Santos to bring his input to the table saying that he would be able to see the finalization before it was signed. It's been reported that Uribe even tried to reach out to the rebel leaders, but FARC refused to meet with him, taking the opportunity to attack him for his "No" campaign. Even with the signing of the new deal, Uribe has found reasons for why no to accept it, saying that it needed to be scrapped entirely or that certain parts of the referendum needed more work as well as that it should have been voted on by the people.
Opposition pushed aside to make peace with FARC
Timochenko, leader of the FARC: "Let words be the only weapon used in Colombia!" pic.twitter.com/7OBtvt1eoG— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) November 24, 2016
During the most recent negotiations, both Santos' government and the FARC leaders themselves lobbied for the deal directly with those opposed. Santos himself approached Catholic and Evangelical leaders rather than to rely on Uribe, as he's made no secret about his conservative agenda. Colombia has been considered a more conservative nation, but is said to have become less so over the past year or more through Santos' left wing government. In order to make sure there was no delay with the FARC peace agreement, Santos has likely and deliberately ignored the over ambitious demands of Uribe in order to push it through. What remained the same through both deals are the bullet pens used to sign the agreement, which is no doubt symbolic, made out of the bullets used in the conflict. in Spanish, the pen was engraved with the following, "Las balas escribieron nuestro pasado, la education, nuestro futuro," translated in English as "Bullets wrote our past, education will write our future."