Despite the negative outcome of the last referendum, when Colombians expressed their opposition to the peace deal with the FARC, President Juan Manuel Santos seems determined not to allow this important milestone – peace with the revolutionary armed forces – to slip through his hands.
That is why the head of state decided to resume talks with the opposition guided by former President Alvaro Uribe – who launched and led the referendum campaign against this deal -, to change the peace deal, which was signed less than two weeks ago. Santos announce this event himself, after a meeting with the leaders of political parties.
Besides, Santos has appointed a team for national dialogue, which will be guided by the negotiator and head of government, Humberto de la Calle, who resignated yesterday, taking “full responsibility for any error there might have been during the negotiations”. Santos rejected the resignation of the officer and sent him back to Havana, where negotiations with the FARC have been held for four years, to start revising the deal with the rebels.
Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin and Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas will join the team for national dialogue too. As to the opposition negotiators, Uribe has appointed three senior members of his party: Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, and Ivan Duque.
The deal has “an undeniable and irrevocable legal effect” – said FARC Commander Rodrigo Londono, better known as Timochenko, following the negative outcome of the referendum on Sunday. In a video recorded in Havana, the rebel leader referred to the sentence of the Colombian Constitutional Court, which reads “the plebiscite consultation has no legal value,” because its “effect is political.”