With the vote on Colombia’s Peace Accord with FARC set for Sunday debate among Colombians is intensifying. Polls show an unpredictable outcome. And journalists, who’ve seen the horrors of war up-close, are among those split on whether to support the deal.
CCTV America’s Michelle Begue reports.
Colombian journalists split over FARC peace deal voteWith the vote on Colombia’s Peace Accord with FARC set for Sunday debate among Colombians is intensifying. Polls show an unpredictable outcome. And journalists, who’ve seen the horrors of war up-close, are among those split on whether to support the deal. CCTV America’s Michelle Begue reports.
Journalists in Colombia have not only covered atrocities, but some have been the target of threats for their work. And the threats were real. According to Colombia Foundation for Press Freedom, 142 journalists were killed between 1977 and 2015 simply for doing their jobs.
But in recent years, much of the coverage turned towards the prospect of peace, as the government held negotiations with FARC.
Journalist Jefferson Beltran said even during the course of peace talks, he received reports that rebels continued illegal activities, adding to his distrust of the rebels.
“At the same time that they negotiate peace agreements or approach peace talks, they continue to receive money from criminal activities like extortion, narcotrafficking and illegal mining in the armed conflict,” said Jefferson Beltran.
That is why Beltran has been vocal about his decision to vote ‘NO’ on October 2nd, when the Peace Accord will be put to a vote by the people of Colombia. He said his vote is swayed by the suffering of FARC victims.
Meanwhile, journalist Vicky Davila has been informing viewers through her YouTube videos of what she believes are the virtues and faults of the peace accord so Colombians can make their own decisions.
Like Beltran, the victims of the conflict have heavily influenced her vote this weekend – but Davila’s ballot will be marked ‘Yes.’
“When you rise above the human emotions that make you feel that these men did a lot of harm and instead you weigh in what you can avoid from now on, then maybe your heart will say, we need to give this a chance,” said Davila.
No matter which way ballots are marked on Sunday, 52 years of pain and suffering will likely be on the minds of all Colombians who vote.