By Cintia Garcia
Impunity Watch Report, South America
BOGOTA, COLOMBIA—The President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leader, Rodrigo Londono, also known as Timochenko, signed a revised peace deal ending fifty-two-years of war. The new signing comes after the previous deal was rejected by the citizens of Colombia on October 2. The new deal will not be put to a popular vote, instead the deal will be given to Congress for approval.
Unlike the previous signing of the deal, which was attended by 2,500 people including dignitaries, the new signing took place in a ceremony of 800 attendees in Bogota at the Colon Theatre. The revised deal includes the concerns of the citizens who voted against the previous deal. President Santos reminded Colombia of the urgency to approve the deal and ending Colombia’s civil war. He stated, “This new accord allows us to work together as a nation to recover the most affected regions due to conflict, to reconcile ourselves, to make use of new opportunities for growth and progress.”
The revised deal includes changes to fifty-seven points in the original document such as: the FARC will need to hand over its assets to the government, which the government will use to compensate victims of the war; Family values were addressed in accordance to the concerns of religious communities; a 10 year limit was put in place for the transitional justice system; FARC must provide information in connection to drug trafficking; the deal will not be integrated into the constitution.
The deal did not include tougher penalties and sentences for the FARC nor did it bar the FARC from political participation.
Congress is expected to vote on the deal within the next week. The deal must receive majority votes. Former president Uribe and his party, the Democratic Centre, will cast a No vote. They claim that the revised deal does not address their concerns, including harsher penalties against FARC members. They are also demanding for a popular vote. It is believed that the deal will pass since the president’s party holds the majority within Congress.
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