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October 04, 2016

Colombians Reject Peace/Amnesty Plan for Terrorist Group FARC by Slim Half-Percent Margin in National Referendum

Amnesty for career kidnappers and terrorists was a bridge too far for a bare majority of the country.

For more than five decades, the Soviet- and narco-backed Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has waged a brutal insurgency against the Colombian government and its people. When Soviet largesse dried up at the end of the Cold War, the guerrillas turned to kidnapping and drug trafficking to fund their insurgency, and they've used just about every terrorist tactic short of suicide-bombings since the very beginning. More than 220,000 people have been killed since the war started in 1964, and more than seven million have been displaced.

So why did a slim majority of the population vote "no" in a national referendum to end the war once and for all?

Because the peace deal was too nice to the FARC.

Amnesty was part of the package, of course. All the FARC leaders could have stayed out of prison if they confessed and made reparations. Worse, the peace treaty would have given the FARC ten seats in Congress--five in the Senate and five in the House--for ten years.

I don't know anything about Colombia and I think it's kinda foolish to opine on another country's politics.

That said, I certainly understand Colombia's choice here. They say you make peace with your enemies, not your allies, and that's true.

But sometimes the price of peace is too high. And justice and retribution are social goods, too.


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posted by Ace at 02:33 PM

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