Colombia war zones split over rejected peace deal

"The rural world, which has lived through the conflict, bet on peace. The urban world said 'No,'" said Ariel Avila of Colombia's Peace and Reconciliation Foundation.

Colombia war zones split over rejected peace deal

World Bulletin / News Desk

The areas hardest hit by Colombia's half-century conflict were deeply divided over a peace deal between the FARC rebels and the government rejected by voters in a shock referendum defeat.

The deal, which failed Sunday when Colombians narrowly voted against it, broadly split the country between those who have experienced the war first-hand and those who have mainly watched it on the news, experts said.

"Because urban Colombia didn't live through combat, air strikes... it doesn't see the need" for making concessions to the leftist rebels, he told AFP.

But even areas that endured the war were deeply split over the deal, the product of nearly four years of arduous negotiations between President Juan Manuel Santos's government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

"We're polarized in many ways. Even victims of the conflict are polarized," said political analyst Juan David Cardenas of La Sabana University in Bogota.

Opponents of the deal attacked it for being too soft on the FARC, a Marxist guerrilla group launched in 1964.

The prospect of light sentences with no jail time and the FARC's relaunch as a political party did not sit well with Colombians who associate the group with civilian massacres, hostage seizures and sowing terror in the countryside.

The promise of reparations for victims and a special system of courts to try crimes committed during the conflict failed to sway many of the millions of Colombians bereaved, maimed or uprooted by a war that has killed 260,000 people.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Ekim 2016, 10:32