Colombians turned out en masse to demonstrate for peace after a ballot referendum was narrowly defeated on Sunday 02 October 2016 50.2% to 49.8%. The deal would have brought to an end Colombia’s half century of civil war. Former Pres. Alvaro Uribe led the “no” vote campaign surge by stirring up support among voters for his claim that FARC opposition forces deserve neither amnesty from criminal prosecution or government support to assist with transitioning back into civil society, both of which were provided for under the terms of the peace agreement.
Despite the defeat of the referendum, Pres. Juan Manuel Santos has pledged to continue working for peace and to continue the cease-fire with FARC. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded on October 7 to Pres. Santos to recognize his role in and dedication to the process of peace for the country of Colombia and its people. The committee issued this statement:
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2016 to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for his resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50 year old civil war to an end. A war that has cost the lives of at least 220,000 Colombians and displaced close to 6 Million people. The award should also be seen as a tribute to the Colombian people who, despite great hardships and abuses, have not given up hope of a just peace and to all the parties who have contributed to this peace process. This tribute is paid not least to the representatives of the countless victims of the civil war.
Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez of Democracy Now report on events and activities taking place in the country around the peace deal and its narrow defeat in the polls.
CNN en español reporta sobre las demostraciones.