2016-10-03 09:00:00

Colombians narrowly reject peace deal with FARC rebels

(Vatican Radio)  The Colombian people have narrowly - but decisively and stunningly - voted to reject the peace deal between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the FARC, which took four years to negotiate and agree.

Listen to James Blears' report:

The referendum was a simple yes or no vote. Accordingly, the vote has come back a narrow "no". While 49.8 percent voted "yes", 50.2 percent voted "no".  It was that close, but a miss is as good as a mile.

It's a stunning slap in the face for President Juan Manuel Santos, who bluntly stated that he has no plan B to cope with this. While it's an extraordinary victory for ex-President Alvaro Uribe, who had steadfastly campaigned for "no".

This clearly indicates that, even though the people of Colombia are war-weary after 52 years of civil war, the majority feel that the FARC are getting away with it far too easily, and that they have been castigated with little more than a token slap on the wrist followed by a hearty handshake.

It shows that they certainly haven't accepted FARC leader Timochenko's very public apology for the conflict, which resulted in 260,000 deaths with six million people displaced.

The FARC were given 180 days from the signing of the Peace Agreement, to disarm.

That process is now very much in question.

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