On September 26, Colombia’s government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed a historic peace agreement, putting an end to a 52-year-old armed conflict that has claimed the lives of over 220,000 people. After four years of negotiations, the two parties reached an agreement in late August, and formally signed the text of the deal at a public ceremony in Cartagena.
The signing of the agreement marks the beginning of a week that will be pivotal for Colombia’s future. On Sunday, October 2, there will be a countrywide plebiscite, where the Colombian people will have the chance to vote “Yes” or “No” on the text of the accord.
WOLA Senior Associate Gimena Sánchez, who attended the signing ceremony in Cartagena, said, “There is a lot of anticipation, and a lot of hope for the future. It’s not easy to make peace and a lot of work needs to be done on the ground to make it a reality. But today’s signing will give the Colombian people a chance to end the terrible violence that has cost so many lives.”
If Colombians vote “Yes” on October 2, the agreement will be affirmed by the Colombian people, and the parties will begin the challenging work of implementing the accord. If a “No” vote wins, the peace accord may not go forward.
“The stakes of this plebiscite are incredibly high,” said WOLA Senior Associate Adam Isacson, who will be in Colombia monitoring voting with the Carter Center during the plebiscite. “A ‘Yes’ vote will lock in the accords. A ‘No’ vote could derail the entire peace process, and make the very idea of negotiations with the FARC unthinkable for the foreseeable future.”
Below is a select list of WOLA’s resources on the Colombian peace process:
WOLA’s experts on Colombia, Gimena Sánchez and Adam Isacson, are available for comment on the importance of the accord and Sunday’s plebiscite. To interview Ms. Sánchez or Mr. Isacson, please contact: