The next "Brexit"?
Colombia had been negotiating a peace agreement with the FARC for almost 4 years. As of Wednesday, they’re over. Colombian government and FARC negotiators announced that they had finalized the agreement, and celebrations erupted around Colombia. For some reason, this news has been completely buried in the American press. When a ceasefire was announced in June, the news was completely overshadowed by the Brexit results, which were released the same day. This time, there’s no excuse.
I was living in Bogota when the negotiations got started, and I had little faith that an agreement would actually be reached. When I left two years ago, the talks looked like they were going nowhere. Despite the new agreement, this is just the beginning.
First, the final agreement will be put to a national vote on October 2nd, a democratic seal of approval to end the world’s longest-running conflict. I’d hoped that this plebiscite would be just a formality, but shockingly, polls show that the Colombian people are split. It’s possible that Colombians will vote to continue the devastating war that almost destroyed the country.
Progressive forces in Colombia must not make the same mistake that was made during the disastrous Brexit vote in the UK. Colombia’s anti-FARC propaganda is some of the most innovative and creative messaging ever. They need to raise serious cash and use that same creativity to explain to the Colombian people why a “YES” vote is the best thing for the future of the country.