BOGOTA – The parties in favor and against the Colombian government’s peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas moved into top gear before the campaign period closes in the last hours of Saturday.
President Juan Manuel Santos has claimed he has pushed for the plebiscite, to be held on Sunday, to fulfill his promise of letting the Colombian people have the last word on the peace deal with the guerrilla outfit, which concludes one of the longest-running conflicts in Latin America.
“This Sunday, one time we’ll decide, we should also unite, all Colombians, we should also reconcile. Those for ‘yes’ and those for ‘no,’” Santos said, advocating for unity in the country.
One of the most colorful and emotive campaigns was conducted on Friday by students from 11 universities, championing the role of youth in nation-building and urging for a “yes” or voting in favor of the peace deal on Sunday.
“Abstention is respectable, but I don’t support it. If we don’t participate, we will continue to have the same people as always in power,” Oscar Amariz, a political science student, told EFE, speaking about the need for people to come out and vote.
The groups against the peace deal also conducted a campaign in the country, saying they want peace, but not at any price.
The main leader of the “no” campaign, former President Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010), reiterated that approving the deal would grant total impunity to FARC.
The plebiscite was endorsed by the Constitutional Court on July 18; and for the peace deal to be approved on Sunday, it has to be backed by at least 13 percent of the names in the electoral rolls, or 4,536,992 votes.