World

Silent protest in Colombia in favor of FARC peace deal

Simultaneous marches in New York, London, Paris to pressure politicians

Richard Mccoll   | 06.10.2016
Silent protest in Colombia in favor of FARC peace deal A protester is seen during a march against "No" and to support signing the peace agreement after referendum on peace at the Plaza de Bolivar in Bogota, Colombia on October 5, 2016. Hundreds of Colombians took the streets to demand ending the armed conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas. ( Daniel Garzon - Anadolu Agency )

Colombia

BOGOTA, Colombia

Thousands of demonstrators dressed in white marched in silence here late Wednesday, and in other cities, in a show of support for a rejected peace agreement between the government and FARC guerrillas.

Marches took place in 14 different cities and in New York, London and Paris to pressure politicians to agree to the peace agreements signed Sept. 26 with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) after four years of negotiations that began in late 2011 in Cuba.

Just hours before March for Peace that was organized on social media by student groups, President Juan Manuel Santos emerged from the presidential palace to address the media about his meeting with former President Alvaro Uribe, who led the “No” campaign against the deal.

“With those in the No campaign, we identified many of their worries on points which simply required clarifications or precisions,” Santos said. “Today we began to work with them to firm up these points and resolve their concerns.”

Uribe, now senator, has been an outspoken critic of the long-running peace dialogues and now sees his position strengthened in the “No” campaign after winning the Oct. 2 plebiscite vote. Santos and Uribe had not spoken in six years and the meeting Wednesday lasted four hours.

“We reiterate the need to assure that the FARC cease all their criminal activities and that their members are protected,” said Uribe. “We express the need for immediate judicial solutions and economic solutions to enable the elimination of drug trafficking and that low-ranking guerrillas are amnestied from crimes,” said Uribe said.

The peace deal formally signed before international observers were celebrated for bringing an end to the 52-year war with the FARC.

The results of the vote last week have now placed Colombia’s political future in limbo as it faces a great deal of uncertainty.

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