Right now in Colombia everyone’s only taking about the Plebiscite, but what is it? It turns out that it’s a mechanism for public participation, where people in this case will be voting for Yes or No to the accords from the conversations in Havana with the FARC-EP. Here is a brief summary of the six points agreed upon in Havana.
- Comprehensive Rural Development: In this agreement the idea is to form the basis for the transformation of the countryside and to create the conditions for well being and living well for the rural population.
- Political Participation: It’s a means that seeks to strengthen the participation of all Colombians in politics, public affairs, and peace building.
- Illicit Drugs: It seeks to treat this problem by promoting the voluntary substitution of illicit crops and the transformation of the affected territories.
- Victims: This agreement seeks to establish the truth, comprehensive reparations, and non-repetition, achieving the satisfaction of the victims’ rights.
- End of the Conflict: Bilateral and definitive ceasefire, weapons relinquishment.
- Implementation, Verification, and Endorsement: We hope that, with the implementation of all of the accords, the dignity of victims is guaranteed, justice is done, and the foundation is laid to end forever the violence of the conflict in the country. (Summary Fact Sheet of the High Commissioner for Peace)
But, for yes to win, there should be 4,396,625 votes in favor. And, what would happen if the Yes wins? It would be the end of the armed conflict with the FARC-EP, what was agreed upon in Havana would be implemented, and the oldest guerilla group in the world would end.
What would happen if the No wins? Four years of negotiations would be lost, and the government hasn’t made their plans known to the Colombian people.
In my community, I asked questions about this topic, and, as expected, a large part of the population does not know what it’s about nor what a plebiscite is; just a few have an answer.
Some say that the president is delivering over the country into the hands of terrorists; others that the FARC have committed all types of violence, and it is not fair that they enjoy the benefits that the government will give them; others are of the opinion that being terrorists they are not being punished for all the crimes they have committed, that there is no justice nor will there be peace when criminals are negotiated with, and they are the ones who make off with the best. Talking to a friend, he said: “You have to be bad to enjoy the benefits, while the people with few resources who commit a crime, justice locks them up for several years, and in other cases they are locked up despite being innocent.”
This doesn’t mean we are in favor of war, but rather that we recognize that there is no true justice.
But, let’s continue, not everyone is in opposition; there follow the answers of the Colombians who believe in peace, reconciliation, forgiveness and a good future for all. Despite being people who suffered directly from the conflict, they continue dreaming of a Colombia in peace. It is not a perfect peace, nor is it the end of corruption. It is the end of the conflict with the FARC, and we would enter into a new phase.
According to the National Center for Historical Memory (CNMH): “The armed conflict from 1958 until 2013 has left a number of 220,000 dead, the majority civilians, and a displacement of 4,750,000 people and forced disappearance of a total of 25,000.” The large majority of these acts were committed by the paramilitaries, followed by the guerrilla groups and the armed forces.
In conclusion, for me these negotiations are a big step. I respect and understand the position of all who are in favor and in opposition. On my part, I want a better Colombia, so voting in the plebiscite is not something that one should do out of emotion, but rather something that we should do rationally, for our economic, political, emotional interests, and do thinking about the future of our children and youth.
I thank the people from the community that contributed part of their knowledge, thoughts, doubts, and concerns on this very complex topic.
Lastly, Psalms 85:10-11-12-13. NKJV.
Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed.
Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
Yes, the Lord will give what is good; and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before Him, and shall make His footsteps our pathway.