Days after two polls indicated that the majority of Colombians oppose a peace deal with far-left rebel group FARC, a new poll indicates public opinion has flipped to favor the agreement.
Colombians will vote in the coming months on whether they want to ratify a peace deal with the FARC that has been negotiated for more than four years.
While the deal is broadly supported by the international community and Colombia’s political mainstream, Colombians themselves proved hardly convinced when the first poll came out last week.
Additionally, the country’s conservative opposition is campaigning against the deal, claiming it is too beneficial for the FARC, accused of thousands of war crimes, and too hard on the state, which is also accused of thousands of war crimes.
However, after both the “Yes” and “No” campaigns have taken to the country, public opinion has rapidly changed to favor the peace deal that would end the FARC’s 52-year-long war against the state.
While last week the “No” vote was leading with 36% against 27% in a poll carried out by Datexco, this week the “Yes campaign is leading with 33% against 28%.
How Colombians say they will vote
In spite of the possibility that Colombians’ reject a ratification of the peace deal, the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos, the FARC and the United Nations have gone full speed in preparing the guerrillas’ mass demobilization and disarmament.
However, if Colombia decides to turn down the peace deal, this would halt the FARC’s demobilization, disarmament and reintegration.
Congress would still have the possibility to push through the peace deal and the amendments to law necessary for the implementations of the deal, but Santos will be disallowed to move forward the peace process as agreed with the FARC.
The government has yet to set the date for the plebiscite, but is facing a three-month deadline imposed by the Constitutional Court and needs at least five weeks to organize it.
If the Colombian people approve the peace deal, this would mean the end of the FARC as an illegal armed group[ and the beginning of the Marxist group’s political participation.