- Title: 'Yes' voters weep after Colombians narrowly reject peace deal with FARC
- Date: 3rd October 2016
- Summary: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA (OCTOBER 2, 2016) (REUTERS) WIDE OF PEOPLE GATHERED AT EVENT FOR 'YES' SUPPORTERS VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WITH GLUM LOOKS AS THEY VOTE COUNT COMES IN AND THEY LISTEN TO THE RESULTS BEING BROADCAST WOMAN CRYING AS VOTE COMES IN VARIOUS OF PEOPLE LOOKING ANXIOUS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) COLOMBIAN POLITICIAN FROM BOGOTA AND 'YES' SUPPORTER, ANTONIO SANGUINO, SAYING: "What this result shows is that 50 percent of the people who went out to vote allowed themselves to be convinced by a message of hate, a message of revenge, a message of keeping us in the past." MAN AND A WOMAN HUGGING AND WEEPING AFTER RESULTS COME IN VARIOUS OF THE MAN AND WOMAN CRYING (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) COLOMBIAN CITIZEN, DEISSON PEDRON SAYING: "We thought the 'yes' vote was going to win. I mean we had hoped Colombia was going to understand there was a historic chance to end a war that doesn't make any sense. It doesn't make sense to have six million people displaced and 500,000 people killed over the last 52 years." VARIOUS OF A MAN CRYING WOMAN WITH HER HEAD DOWN AFTER VOTE COUNT
- Embargoed: 18th October 2016 01:09
- Keywords: Colombia FARC peace yes si
- Location: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
- City: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
- Country: Colombia
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA00152BBM87
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Colombians who had supported a peace deal with insurgents in a referendum on Sunday (October 2) wept in shock after the "no" vote won, plunging the nation into uncertainty and dashing President Juan Manuel Santos' dream of ending the 52-year war.
The surprise victory for the "no" camp - by less than half a percentage point - was likely to shatter a sense of international jubilation - from the White House to the Vatican - at what appeared to be the end of the longest-running conflict in the Americas.
Before the referendum, Santos was confident of victory. He said a "no" vote would be "catastrophic" and that he would return Colombia to war if the deal was rejected.
Opinion polls had shown he would comfortably win and then be able to start implementing a deal painstakingly negotiated in Cuba over the past four years with guerrilla leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
But traditionally conservative Colombian voters, anxious over perceived soft treatment for the guerrillas, confounded forecasts as the "no" camp won with a tiny margin of 50.23 percent to 49.76 percent.
A politician from Bogota and who had supported the peace plan, Antonio Sanguino, said a message of hate had beat out peace.
"What this result shows is that 50 percent of the people who went out to vote allowed themselves to be convinced by a message of hate, a message of revenge, a message of keeping us in the past," Sanguino said.
Opponents of the pact believe it was too lenient on the FARC rebels by allowing them to re-enter society, form a political party and escape jail sentences.
Many of them want a renegotiation of the deal with rebel leaders serving jail sentences and receiving no free seats in Congress.
For decades, the FARC bankrolled the longest-running conflict in the Americas through the illegal drug trade, kidnapping and extortion, spreading a sense of terror that left few Colombians unaffected. The conflict took more than 220,000 lives and displaced millions of people.
"We thought the 'yes' vote was going to win. I mean we had hoped Colombia was going to understand there was a historic chance to end a war that doesn't make any sense. It doesn't make sense to have six million people displaced and 500,000 people killed over the last 52 years," said Deisson Perdon, who had supported the plan.
Colombians were asked for a simple "yes" or "no" vote on whether they supported the accord signed last Monday by Santos and the rebel commander known as Timochenko.
The FARC, whose numbers were halved to about 7,000 in recent years because of a U.S.-backed military offensive, had agreed to turn in weapons and fight for power at the ballot box instead.
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