Colombia’s largest rebel group, the FARC, said Thursday that his group is only willing to consider proposals that would “enrich” a signed, put publicly rejected peace deal. Renegotiating the deal “lacks common sense,” FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño said.
The rebel leader told China’s state news agency Xinhua that “I think those critical of the agreement can make positive contributions to add on to the deal and enrich it. However, renegotiating it would be an outrage, it would mean starting again from scratch.”
The FARC’s peace deal with the government was rejected with a razor-sharp margin earlier this month in a referendum that stopped the already begun peace process in its tracks and plunged the country in crisis.
Following the shock vote, both the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC said to be open to make “adjustments and specifications” in the deal.
Former President Alvaro Uribe, the main opponent of the peace process as it stands, on Wednesday presented proposals for changes to accord, some of whom would require a renegotiation of some of the fundamental agreements in the deal, something the FARC refuses to consider.
“We are optimistic but we are not talking about renegotiating the agreement. The No option won the plebiscite by a very small margin amid a reduced number of voters, as around 63 percent of the population did not vote. By no means do I believe the peace process is destined to fail due to this adverse result,” Londoño, a.k.a. “Timochenko,” told Xinhua.
After the referendum, Santos invited political and religious leaders who had led the “No” campaign in an effort to increase support for the peace process.
According to Santos, “With the ‘No’ people, we identified that many of their concerns are about points that require clarification or specifics,” leaving the substantial changed demanded by Uribe untouched.
Supporters of the peace process have held several mass marches, not just to express their support to the deal, but also to show solidarity to victims and the Colombians living in war zones who predominantly voted in favor of the deal.