Colombia

Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Colombia.

Colombia: How governments pitch a referendum is a big deal. Here’s what we learned in Colombia. | The Washington Post

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo today, in recognition of his four-year effort to guide peace negotiations with Colombia’s largest rebel group, the FARC. The October announcement about the prize came just days after Colombians rejected a referendum on the historic peace agreement to end the armed conflict that has plagued the country for half a century. In late November, the two sides pushed through a revised peace deal addressing some of the concerns of those who voted against the referendum. Santos avoided another referendum by getting the senate and the lower house to approve the new pact. The outcomes of referendums — whether in Colombia, or the June Brexit vote or December’s Italian referendum — make it clear that getting people to vote for government initiatives is harder than one would expect. Read More

Colombia: Voters reject deal to end 52-year FARC rebel war | Reuters

Colombians narrowly rejected a peace deal with Marxist guerrillas in a referendum on Sunday, plunging the nation into uncertainty and dashing President Juan Manuel Santos’ painstakingly negotiated plan to end the 52-year war. The surprise victory for the “no” camp poured cold water on international joy, from the White House to the Vatican, at what had seemed to be the end of the longest-running conflict in the Americas. The “no” camp won by 50.21 percent to 49.78 percent. Voter turnout was only 37 percent, perhaps partly owing to torrential rain through the country. Both sides in the war immediately sought to reassure the world they would try to revive their peace plan. Santos, 65, said a ceasefire already negotiated would remain in place. He vowed to sit down on Monday with the victorious “no” camp to discuss the way forward, and send his chief negotiator back to Cuba to meet with FARC rebel leaders. “I will not give up, I will keep seeking peace until the last day of my term because that is the way to leave a better nation for our children,” said Santos, who cannot seek re-election when his second term ends in August 2018. Read More

Colombia: After voters’ rejection president scrambles to save peace accord with FARC rebels | The Washington Post

Colombia’s president tried Monday to keep alive an agreement to end Latin America’s longest-running war after a shocking rejection by voters, but his opponents made clear their price for joining the effort will be steep. President Juan Manuel Santos invited Colombia’s political parties to an emergency meeting Monday and asked them to form a big-tent coalition to rework the deal and make it more appealing to the voters who spurned it in Sunday’s referendum by a narrow margin. Santos told Colombians that a month-old bilateral cease-fire with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) would remain in effect. He ordered his negotiating team to return to Cuba, where the peace talks were held, to resume contacts with FARC leaders. Read More

Colombia: With Colombians set to vote on peace deal, a former president campaigns to kill it | Los Angeles Times

When they go to the polls Sunday, Colombian voters are expected to endorse the landmark peace agreement signed this week by the government and the country’s most important rebel group. If that happens, it will be despite the formidable efforts of former President Alvaro Uribe. He has waged an aggressive campaign to kill the deal, rallying opponents ranging from victims rights groups to wealthy ranchers. Their main complaint is that the deal’s “transitional justice” treats the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — the guerrilla group known as FARC — too leniently for horrific crimes committed over decades of war. Those who confess to murders, kidnappings, terror attacks and other atrocities would face maximum sentences of eight years of “restricted liberty,” a form of house arrest, in the 23 “relocation zones,” the rural reserves where rebels will move once they give up their weapons. Read More

Colombia: Violence and Fraud Put Colombian Elections at Risk | teleSUR

Political developments are heating up in Colombia as the country prepares for another election, with at least seven candidates killed and 30 municipalities uncovering cases of voter fraud. Seven politicians have been killed since February this year, with the most recent murder victim Giraldo Ojeda, a conservative leader and mayor of San Jose de Alban who was killed Sept. 30. According to Colombian daily El Tiempo, 157 other candidates have also reportedly received threats, just days ahead of the Oct. 25 legislative elections. Most of the threats have been made in the states of Valle del Cauca, Narino and Antioquia, considered some of the most dangerous regions of the country. Read More

Colombia: Santos predicts ‘beginning of a new Colombia’ after victory | Miami Herald

Colombians decided Sunday to give President Juan Manuel Santos four more years to clench his signature project — a peace deal with the nation’s guerrillas that might end a half century of civil conflict. With 99 percent of the vote counted, Santos had won 51 percent versus 45 percent for former Finance Minister Oscar Iván Zuluaga. Months of whiplash polls and bitter recriminations boiled down to a difference of about 900,000 ballots in a race that was largely seen as a referendum on ongoing peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in Havana. After he plowed through a crowd of supporters and white-clad children waving cutouts of doves, Santos said he was determined to clench a peace deal. Read More

Colombia: 11,000 polls ready, overseas voting under way in Colombia’s presidential election | Colombia Reports

Colombia’s National Registrar has confirmed that all the necessary preparations have been made for the country’s second-round elections this Sunday. According to the Registrar, more than 32 million Colombians are eligible to vote in Colombia’s June 15 elections, both domestically and abroad. Early voting for the nearly 600,000 Colombian citizens living abroad started on Monday, with polling stations located in 64 different countries. Nearly 11,000 polling stations will be open in the country on election day. According to Radio W, the National Registrar has installed thousands of biometric identification tools throughout the country to combat voter impersonation fraud. Nearly half a million Colombian citizens will also be working as jurors to ensure that the elections run as smoothly as possible. Read More

Colombia: Uribe’s wrath | The Economist

Óscar Iván Zuluaga’s name was on the ballot, but it was his political mentor and the former president, Álvaro Uribe (pictured right), who pulled in the votes. A finance minister under Mr Uribe, Mr Zuluaga (pictured left) scored 29% in the first round of Colombia’s presidential election on May 25th, beating Juan Manuel Santos, the current president, by four percentage points. The two men will now face each other in a run-off on June 15th. With his direct, folksy manner, Mr Uribe has dominated Colombian politics since he first won the presidency in 2002. After changing the constitution to allow his re-election, he won again in 2006. Barred from a third term, he backed Mr Santos, his former defence minister, in 2010, expecting his successor to continue his tough security policies, particularly against the FARC guerrillas. Read More

Colombia: Congressional elections saw ‘unprecedented voter fraud and vote buying’: Electoral Observers | Colombia Reports

Colombia’s Sunday congressional elections saw an unprecedented amount of voter fraud and vote buying, though violent pressure on voters from armed illegal groups largely abated, according to electoral observers. As the dust cleared approaching midweek after Colombia’s congressional elections, candidates were crying fraud and corruption. Former President and senator elect Alvaro Uribe called the Sunday’s elections “illegitimate” in an interview with Blu Radio; defeated presidential primary candidate Camilo Romero insisted on Twitter that ballots were missing across the country; and presidential candidate Aida Avella told Colombia Reports that “money,” not votes, guaranteed candidates congressional seats this past weekend. MOE spokesperson Fabian Hernandez told Colombia Reports subsequently that “we have never received this many complaints about election fraud” since the organization’s foundation in 2007. Read More

Colombia: Uribe’s party charges irregularities in Colombia vote | GlobalPost

Former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe’s party charged Wednesday that its showing in Sunday’s legislative elections was affected by what it said were serious irregularities in the vote count. Uribe’s opposition Democratic Center party said it had evidence that 250,000 votes in its favor were not counted, “which would substantially change the election results and the composition of the Congress.” Read More