After Colombia’s FARC rebels and the government signed a transitional justice deal, the Colombian population is considerably more optimistic about the final success of the peace deal, according to a survey.
When asked if they were optimistic or pessimistic that the negotiations would lead to peace 46% of those surveyed said they were optimistic, a 17% rise compared to results collected in April and July.
However, this only represents a 3% increase from November 2014, revealing that there had been a significant dip in confidence in April and July caused by FARC violations of the bilateral ceasefire.
Despite the talks’ progress and results, 52% responded that they were pessimistic about the peace talks.
Optimism over outcome peace talks
The negative image of the FARC stayed relatively unchanged with 67% of Colombians still suspecting that the guerrilla organization will not comply with the agreed peace deal and 72% who said they do not believe the FARC want peace at all.
The survey carried out by Ipsos-Napoleon Franco reveals that the popularity of president Juan Manuel Santos seems to go up and down depending on how well the peace negotiations are going. Over the last three months, in light of the announcement of the signing of the transitional justice deal the president’s popularity rose from 29% to 42%.
The chief government negotiator for the peace talks, Humberto De la Calle, was also reviewed favorably, reaching his highest level of popularity since the negotiations began in November 2012.
However, the main opposition to the peace process, former president Alvaro Uribe, also gained popularity, going from 56% approval to 61%.
From this apparent contradiction Semana concluded that although Colombians want peace they are concerned that the punishments outlined in the justice deal are too lenient on the FARC with 59% saying they would prefer tough punishments.
In general, the transitional justice deal was received positively by 55% of people and negatively by 38%. When asked who would be the winners after the peace deal, 55% said the country would win, with 28% believing the FARC would come out with the best deal.
Although overall confidence in the peace process has risen, 6 out of 10 respondents said they do not believe that the peace deal will be signed by March 23 2016, as promised by president Santos.
Peace talks have been taking place in Havana, Cuba between the FARC and the government since November 2012 in order to resolve the 51-year-long civil conflict that left 260,000 Colombians dead and 6 million displaced.