Opponents say FARC peace deal gives leniency to criminals

Latin America

Opponents say FARC peace deal gives leniency to criminals

It’s been two days since the Colombia government and FARC rebel group reached a truce agreement expected to end 52-years of conflict. But some Colombians are voicing skepticism and concerns.

CCTV’s Michelle Begue reports from Bogota.

Opponents say FARC peace deal gives leniency to criminals

Opponents say FARC peace deal gives leniency to criminals

It's been two days since the Colombia government and FARC rebel group reached a truce agreement expected to end 52-years of conflict. But some Colombians are voicing skepticism and concerns. CCTV's Michelle Begue reports from Bogota.

The initial excitement in Colombia has settled and a fierce debate begins. Is this peace deal between the FARC rebels and the Colombian government what citizens want?

After four years of negotiations to end more than half a century of conflict, what counts is public opinion. On October 2nd, Colombians will vote in favor or against the peace deal. If they say NO the deal is off.

Campaigning against the accord is former President Alvaro Uribe Velez. He is responsible for leading the offensive against the rebels during his 2002 to 2010 presidency.

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Uribe weighed in on the agreement by calling it, a deal that awards terrorism by permitting the FARC’s narco trafficking and money laundering among other crimes.
Alvaro Uribe Velez said, “This process awards terrorism by not jailing those responsible for heinous crimes, in a country where we have 100 thousand people jailed for lesser crimes than those committed by the FARC.”

Under the peace deal, a special tribunal will award reduced sentences and community service in exchange for full confessions. This is just one of the points that critics of the deal oppose.

Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, former presidential candidate said, “It’s not just that they won’t pay jail time, they are going to be able to hold public office and aim to be in Congress or become President regardless of having committed those crimes.”

Uribe and the opposition say that voting NO on October 2nd would mean that a better peace deal can be renegotiated. A point that supporters of President Santos’ peace deal say is simply not true, as the FARC would have to be willing to negotiate with a different government down the line.