Colombia’s government and Marxist guerrillas went back to the drawing board in Havana on Tuesday after a peace deal they painstakingly negotiated over four years was rejected in a shock referendum result.
In a vote that confounded opinion polls and was a disaster for President Juan Manuel Santos, Colombians narrowly rebuffed the pact on Sunday as too lenient on the rebels.
Lead negotiators Humberto de la Calle and Sergio Jaramillo were back at a Havana convention center on Tuesday meeting counterparts from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to see what the rebels are willing to do, the government said.
- Varun Gandhi Under Attack Over Defence Deals: Here’s How
- This Diwali, Let Blind Students Brighten Up your Homes With Candles & Diyas
- CBI Files Supplementary Chargesheet In Sheena Bora Murder Case
- Soha Ali Khan And Vir Das Starrer 31st October Audience Reaction
- Sahara Chief Subrata Roy’s Parole Extended Till November 28
- Simple Tips To Secure Your Debit Card From Fraudsters
- New Zealand & India Team Being Welcomed In Chandigarh
- Mumbai Call Centre Scam: All You Need To Know
- Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Appeals To Police: Here’s What She Said
- Shocker From Ahmedabad: Find Out What Happened
- Bigg Boss 10 Day 3 Review: Celebs Fail To Do Well in First Task
- Airtel Offers 10GB Data At Rs 259 For New 4G Smartphone Users
- Aamir Khan Starrer Dangal’s Trailer Launched: First Impressions
- TMC Supporters Attack BJP Leader Babul Supriyo
- Sri Lankan Navy Apprehends 20 Indian Fishermen
Watch What Else Is Making News
The Cuban capital was the venue for talks between the two sides since 2012 that reached an accord to end Colombia’s 52-year war that has killed around a quarter of a million people.
All sides, including “No” voters, who carried the day on Sunday by less than half a percentage point, say they want an end to war, and the two parties have kept their ceasefire.
But there is vehement opposition – led by hardline former President Alvaro Uribe – to major planks of the previous deal, including guaranteed congressional seats for the FARC and immunity from traditional jail sentences for leaders.
A renegotiation seems to depend on whether the FARC would accept tougher conditions, maybe combined with a softening of Uribe’s demands. After years of refusing to meet negotiators, Uribe has now said he is willing to seek a joint solution.
Santos and Uribe will meet on Wednesday morning, the president’s office said.
Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin said the decision whether to officially renegotiate the accord lies with the FARC.
On Monday the rebels said they would remain “faithful” to the negotiated accord and Twitter messages from FARC leadership appeared to suggest reluctance to change the terms at this stage.
“The thing is, just as the government has its deal breakers, so does the FARC, so we have to see if it is willing to reopen the accord,” Holguin told reporters.
“There was no Plan B, we believed the nation wanted peace.”
Three representatives from Uribe’s right-wing Democratic Center party are to pore over details with three from the government. In what may turn into a dual negotiation process, those meetings are to commence once de la Calle returns from Cuba.
Colombian financial markets fell on Monday as investors worried that the limbo over the peace deal would hold up fiscal reforms such as tax changes.
Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas, however, said the tax reforms would go ahead.