Colombia: FARC peace agreement plebiscite (October 2, 2016)
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Hashemite
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« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2016, 08:16:33 PM »

BTW - I hope some people on here are reading this/vaguely interested by what I have to say, and/or I hope my terrible bunch of words (51 pages as per MS Word :S) isn't intimidating people or anything. If people have some questions or want me to talk more (ha!) about certain stuff, I'm certainly willing to do that.

On a general note of how things are going, polls are all showing a substantial lead for the SÍ (Cheesy) with some tightening being picked up, which is only natural since I never believed that the SÍ could win with 75% of the vote - still, it's leading by about 20 points - but I see some chance for a further tightening if more non-voters decide to vote, which is fairly unlikely but could favour the NO (or not). We should be getting the last polls before the legal 'silence', but I have a feeling that the SÍ will have a momentum boost on Monday, when they formally sign the agreements before 2,500+ people including over 15 heads of State in Cartagena. Uribe's tone doesn't convey optimism, which probably means that he knows he's going down on this one.
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« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2016, 09:39:21 AM »

This is on October 2. Polls will close at 4pm Colombian time on Sunday, which means 5pm. The results will be reported online through the Registraduría's website. Very Sad! that nobody seems to care about an event of such importance, but what can you do.

I may have time to cover the contents of the agreement before then. If not, then read the Wikipedia article (I wrote it, so...): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colombian_peace_process#Contents_of_the_agreements. If you speak Spanish and reading 297 pages is your thing: https://www.mesadeconversaciones.com.co/sites/default/files/24_08_2016acuerdofinalfinalfinal-1472094587.pdf (in reality it's about 100-150 pages of concrete content)

In the meantime, I have put together a guide of what and where to look at on Sunday.

Raw votes

  • 4,536,993 is what the Yes (or No) absolutely needs as a bare minimum if it is to win - 13% of registered voters.
  • 7,839,342: President Juan Manuel Santos' second round winning total - 2014's "coalition for peace" including the left, progressive centre and the old machines etc.
  • 6,917,001:Óscar Iván Zuluaga's second round total - 2014's anti-Santos vote
  • 3,769,005: Óscar Iván Zuluaga's first round result - the uribista base
  • 1,958,518: Clara López's first round result - the expanded left-wing base
  • 1,997,980: Marta Lucía Ramírez's first round result - a swing base (peace process skeptics) not controlled by the traditional Conservative machines
  • 5,766,985: Zuluaga + Ramírez's first round result - peace process skeptics and opponents
  • 3,310,794: Juan Manuel Santos' first round result - the bare minimum gathered with the old machines largely sitting on their hands
  • 1,064,758: Enrique Peñalosa's first round result - miscellaneous
  • 1,355,358: Centro Democrático's 2014 vote for the Chamber - the hardcore uribista base which votes CD even without Uribe 'pushing' the list himself
  • 1,238,193: Centro Democrático's 2015 vote for the Assemblies - another measure of the hardcore uribista base
  • 1,490,383: Centro Democrático's 2015 vote for mayors - another measure, somewhat less accurate, of the hardcore uribista base
  • 2,045,564: Centro Democrático's 2014 vote for the Senate - the uribista core vote
  • 4,975,869: Liberal + U + CR's 2014 vote total for the Senate - the Unidad Nacional
  • 7,447,277: The above + Conservatives + Op.C.'s 2014 vote total for the Senate - pro-government parties
  • 8,880,028: The above + Greens + Polo + MIRA's 2014 vote total for the Senate - all parties theoretically supporting the Yes
  • 996,872: Cambio Radical's 2014 vote for the Senate - less enthusiastic supporters of the Yes, in theory

In general terms, besides the results, I'm very curious as to the turnout. I have a really hard time with these polls saying turnout will be over 55% or whatever - that's wildly unrealistic for Colombia. A plebiscite is an unknown in Colombian elections, in terms of mobilization, so it's really anybody's guess.

Cities and regions to look at on Sunday

Major cities - just cause they're big

  • Bogotá: 5,547,172 registered voters - that's 16% of the total registered electorate. Bogotá is also a bellwether - it has tended to vote for the winner in almost all presidential elections, despite its idiosyncrasies in political leanings. Bogotá is the left's consistently strongest major city/region, although Clara López's defeat in 2015 and the end of three terms of left-wing administrations locally kind of belies that. Still, in both 2014 and 2015, Clara López won about 500,000 votes in Bogotá, which is more than the CD base (about 374,000 in the Senate, 2014 or 328,000 for 'Pacho' Santos in 2015), although Zuluaga won over 1 million votes in the 2014 runoff. There's also a strong hardcore uribista base, which is about 320-330,000 votes. Bogotá, above all, is where the so-called voto de opinión (voters, urban and usually middle-class, not 'controlled' by any political machine/cacique, voting based on personal opinion or ideology) is strongest, which makes partisan campaigns less effective, although Bogotá's politicians tend to be so-called 'opinion politicians' (i.e. Green senator Claudia López, a respected political analyst who has a big fan base; Liberal senator Juan Manuel Galán, Luis Carlos Galán's eldest son; CR senator Carlos Fernando Galán, the former's brother; and, somewhat oddly, U senator Armando Benedetti, despite being from Barranquilla and a bit of a machine guy himself, has a substantial vote in Bogotá because of his activity on LGBT issues; Polo senators Jorge Enrique Robledo and Iván Cepeda, two effective and competent legislators with their own different niches) rather than nasty caciques. Because all those listed name are active, to different extents, in the Yes campaign, the Yes has the advantage in Bogotá (non-partisan civic movements, victims' organizations, NGOs, think-tanks etc. are all strong/based in the city too, and they're mostly for the Yes too). The No's main local leader is, first and foremost, Uribe's former VP (and Santos' cousin) 'Pacho' Santos, who has gone mad as of late. The CD has 4 senators from the city, most notably Iván Duque (one of the party's most reasonable and intelligent voices) and Paloma Valencia (a true Uribe cultist - she literally has a painting of Uribe as the Sacred Heart of Jesus). The other major No figure with a following is representative María Fernanda Cabal, who is literally a lunatic and is completely insane (she's also married to the president of the horrible ranchers' association Fedegán), but seems to have a bunch of crazies behind her on Twitter (i.e. the morons who think a Yes victory is a victory for the global castro-chavista-homosexual-gender ideology conspiracy); they also have the evangelical Misión Carismática Internacional. Polls have the Yes ahead, although often by a lesser margin than nationally, and the recent slippage in support may have been strongest here. Either campaign probably needs to win in Bogotá to win nationally, although I suppose the Yes could win with a loss in Bogotá if rural Colombia is heavily heavily Yes. I also have a personal instinct that turnout will be lower in the city than the country, although that might not be the case if turnout nationally is low (i.e. 2014 presidential first round low). In any case, turnout probably won't be much higher than 50-55%.
  • Medellín (Antioquia): The capital of Antioquia is the most uribista major city in Colombia - Uribe is from here (more or less, although he was born in Salgar and he's more in his natural element in his finca in the countryside with his horses [and shady drug dealer friends]), and the voto de opinión here has a large uribista element (about 200-300,000 votes, depending on the election and turnout, with a broader base being Zuluaga's 448,360 in 2014-R2). But Uribe isn't invincible - the main opposition, present in local politics, is fajardismo and its variants, a centrist/centre-left progressive independent stream focused on education, clean politics and urban renewal, centred on Sergio Fajardo (mayor, 2003-2007 and governor 2011-2015), a presidential aspirant for 2018. Fajardo is strongly behind the Yes, although campaigning separately from the parties, and with a different (more developed) discourse (not the parties' lazy "peace is cool guys" but more "vote yes for peace, to improve education and politics"). The current mayor, Federico Gutiérrez, was elected (narrowly) in 2015 (defeating, surprisingly, Juan Carlos Vélez Uribe, Uribe's doltish candidate, who's now the CD No's campaign manager; but also former mayor Alonso Salazar, Fajardo's preferred candidate, who collapsed in the final days), because of his ability to attract both uribista and fajardista votes (as he has ties to both, which means neither side's purists like him and are suspicious of his intentions). Federico Gutiérrez was cool towards the peace agreement on several occasions and initially it seemed as if he'd remain neutral, but he finally endorsed the Yes (but nothing more). Fajardo is still very popular, and Gutiérrez is also very popular, so it will be interesting if that has an impact. Polls all show that Antioquia/its general region may have the highest No vote, but people disagree if that means the No will actually win in Antioquia. A Yes victory in Medellín would definitely be Sad! for the No, given that Medellín tends to be even more uribista than Antioquia as a whole. Anyway, tldr, it's going to be really interesting (also very personally curious to see the results at the comuna level, maybe especially in Comuna 13).
  • Cali (Valle del Cauca): Colombia's third largest city. Anything short of a resounding Yes victory would be Not Good! here. Uribismo in its modern incarnation is weak here - basically no well-known local leaders or infrastructure to speak of (63,500 votes for Senate, 50,000 votes for Assembly, 98,000 votes for Zuluaga R1). On the other hand, both the governor (the sketchy and corrupt Dilian Francisca Toro) and the mayor (the pretty awesome old businessman Maurice Armitage) are enthusiastically campaigning for the Yes. Dilian is controversial and weaker in Cali than elsewhere in the Valle, but still controls a lot of votes and public resources; Armitage is a very interesting character - he got kidnapped twice, but he forgave his captor and even paid for his legal costs, hailed as an example of reconciliation - and remains popular, although he sometimes says things which don't go over well - like suggesting that all Colombians are responsible for the conflict and that they should apologize to the FARC for pushing them to take up arms. I'm interested to see how Armitage's primarily middle-class electorate goes here. The left is also fairly strong in Cali (110,000 votes for Clara López in 2014)
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« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2016, 09:40:03 AM »

  • Barranquilla (Atlántico): Expect a YUGE victory for the Yes here, anything short of that would be pretty bad. The city's unbelievably popular mayor, Alex Char, who rules hegemonic over local politics, is from CR and is close to VP Vargas Lleras, but he's been far more enthusiastic and active in his campaign for the Yes than the VP has (but Vargas Lleras finally seems to be getting off his ass now, and incidentally showed up at a big campaign event organized by Char here in Barranquilla). Uribismo has no base here - their vote is no higher than 50,000, if that. Santos got 268,000 votes in the 2014 runoff (74%); Char won 355,800 in 2015, or 73%.
  • Cartagena (Bolívar): The city where peace was signed, proclaimed by Santos to be the "city of peace", will be interesting to watch. The governor, Dumek Turbay (Liberal), is actively campaigning for the Yes, but the mayor, populist radio host Manolo Duque's position is "yeah sure whatever, don't bother me". Uribismo isn't dominant here, far from it, but is stronger than in other regions of the Caribbean - Zuluaga did won 30% in the first round, but the core seems to be about 9-12%. Uribe (and his new sidekick Ordóñez, who got a taste of his own medicine by being deposed from his job as Procurador General) campaigned here on Monday, although apparently they only attracted a pathetically small crowd.

Other major regions or cities to watch out for

  • Antioquia: The biggest department, if you don't count Bogotá, is the cradle of uribismo, where it has the strongest and deepest roots and is the largest political force in the arena - 58% for Zuluaga in the runoff (1.14 million votes), 25% for Senate in 2014 (436,000), 38% for Zuluaga in the first round (665,000), 20% for Chamber in 2014 and Assembly in 2015 (351,000/373,000). At the same time, there are internal squabbles between various clans in the local party which hurt it in 2015, and it certainly isn't invincible, as I noted for Medellín (which is also one of the strongest regions for the CD in the department). The Yes supporters, besides Fajardo, also have a presence, but 2014 (and even 2015) showed that Uribe's star power is enough to defeat rival machines here, to a certain extent. It's also an interesting department because it has been a battleground in the entire conflict, particularly geographically peripheral regions like Urabá, the Nordeste Antioqueño, the Bajo Cauca and Magdalena Medio - uribismo is weaker in these regions, particularly Urabá (perhaps because of its leftist history, or, more likely, because of its large Afro-Colombian population). So, there are many things to look out for here: does the No win in Uribe's homeland? if so, by how much? how do regions which suffered most from the conflict and paramilitarism, like Urabá, vote? if the Yes wins, by how much and on what geographical basis? 4,539,316 voters registered here. Over 2 million votes could come from Antioquia, if turnout is decent.
  • Bucaramanga (Santander): I'm always somewhat surprised this city isn't larger than it is (still #9) since it gets more press and media attention than larger cities (Cúcuta, Ibagué and Soledad), perhaps because it's one of the wealthiest and most educated cities in the country. Its politics oscillate between boringly generic and very interesting; the main national political movements were closely matched here in 2014, with uribismo a strong but not dominant force (and lacks well-known local leaders, the CD has only a single representative, who isn't a real uribista anyway) - 23.5% (48,700) for Zuluaga R1, 16% for Senate (33,700), 12% for Assembly (31,000) and 39.5% (92,600) for Zuluaga R2. The Liberal Party is strong here, but lost the mayoralty in 2015 to Rodolfo Hernández, a very idiosyncratic anti-establishment businessman (his movement's name is Logic, Ethics and Aesthetics is its logo is the pi sign), who is the only major city mayor to remain explicitly neutral and tell the government to  off (although he was in Cartagena for the signing). Besides the Liberals, the nasty Aguilar clan is somewhat strong, though less than in the rest of the department. Bucaramanga also produced the oh so great departmental assemblywoman Ángela Hernández (U), who became famous last month or so for alleging 'homosexual colonization' by the education ministry (the education minister, the pretty awesome Gina Parody, is a lesbian, and has riled up all the Christian right against her, officially because some generic 'don't be a bully'/'don't be a bigot' curriculum stuff is anti-family/muh traditional values); Hernández has since become famous and developed a following, and now seems to have taken it upon herself to lead the charge against the gay conspiracy, perhaps soon to be joined by "straight outta 1200 a.d." Lefebvrist/Falangist Ordóñez, who is also from Bucaramanga. More than one poll suggests that Santander/Norte de Santander/Boyacá are the strongest departments for the No, but whether that's true (I'd be a bit surprised myself) or just sampling issues remains to be seen.
  • Manizales (Caldas): Admittedly I have a personal interest here, since I know this city really well, but I feel as if it's still interesting. Caldas is Zuluaga's native department, and it gave him 40.5% and 61.3% in the two rounds, although in Manizales that was lesser (31% and 54%). The CD also has prominent politicians besides Zuluaga - Luis Alfonso Hoyos (who is, however, inactive now after scandals in Zuluaga's 2014 campaign) and former senator Adriana Gutiérrez (who got 25% in last year's mayoral race in Manizales, but she was a favourite and ended up third); the CD also effectively has former Conservative senator Omar Yepes, the old political boss of Caldas, even if his younger brother, Conservative representative Arturo Yepes is with the government (and the Yes). However, uribismo hasn't proven itself to be the main political movement in Manizales or much of Caldas in either 2014 and 2015. Manizales' mayor is the populist (and presumably corrupt) Liberal Octavio Cardona, who is campaigning for the Yes. The current president of the Senate, Mauricio Lizcano (U), is from Caldas and received a lot of his votes in Manizales and Caldas (with some in Antioquia), he is probably going to be looking for a Yes win in his territories for prestige reasons (at any rate he's actively campaigning for it). The departmental government, both suspended governor Guido Echeverri and the caretaker governor, are actively campaigning for the Yes as well. Conservative senator Luis Emilio Sierra is also for the Yes.
  • Buenaventura (Valle): The largest city on the Pacific coast, and one of Colombia's poorest and most violent cities (not coincidentally, it is also the biggest city with an Afro-Colombian majority - by majority I mean 90% black). Politically, its governments are extremely corrupt (can't be bothered to double check, but we're well on track for 100% of its past 3 or 4 mayors ending up in jail), and its national leanings are outright anti-uribista (Uribe never won here, even in 2006, and Santos lost in 2010; Zuluaga got all of 12% in the first round and 18% in the runoff, against 55% and then 79% for Santos). The city has suffered a lot from the armed conflict, and will continue to suffer from conflict because of the strategic importance on the city in drug export routes and the consequent active presence of drug cartels and other criminal gangs. Mostly anecdotal evidence, and the political leanings of the municipality, suggest that it should return a massive Yes vote. It featured in the campaign when a young Afro-Colombian man had an awesome high-energy take down (#rekt) of Uribe at a No campaign event (which was, imo, a better end-all argument against the No than any of the government's "we luv peace!!11" stuff).
  • Valle del Cauca: Besides Cali and Buenaventura, the Valle has 3 million registered voters (third behind Bogotá and Antioquia), and has the potential to provide a lot of votes for the Yes. As aforementioned, the department's governor, Dilian Francisca Toro (U), isn't popular with the voto de opinión but she is one of the most powerful politicians in Colombia and is actively campaigning for the Yes. Dilian's people also control Palmira, the third largest city in the Valle, and maybe Tuluá, the fourth; Palmira is the most violent city in Colombia (by homicide rate, 70.88) and the eighth most violent in the world, if you go by the Mexican Consejo Ciudadano para la Seguridad Pública y la Justicia Penal's yearly rankings; Buenaventura and Tumaco would rank higher if the ranking included them), mostly because it's a gang hot spot (Cali is the second most violent by that list). The north of the Valle, whose largest city is Cartago, has a Conservative tradition and paisa (Antioquian) influence, and uribismo (and non-santista Conservatives) is quite strong there, although that really didn't show up in 2015.
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« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2016, 09:40:22 AM »

Of particular interest...

  • Tumaco (Nariño): Tumaco, the second largest city on the Pacific coast, suffered the most from the FARC's final spate of violence in the summer of 2015; it remains a poor (and 98% Afro-Colombian) city, one of the most violent in the country and where the FARC were still the main public safety concern. It is also the municipality with the most coca cultivation in the country. Its politics, shockingly enough, are rotten to the core - the main political group in control is that of Liberal representative Neftalí Correa, who holds the city hall and won the most votes in the city in 2014 (he is allied to Conservative senator Samy Merheg, who got an [abnormally] strong vote in Nariño/Tumaco in 2010 and 2014, and is the brother of former senator Habib Merheg, investigated for parapolitics). I would expect Tumaco to deliver a resounding victory for the Yes. The wider department is interesting as well - it's one of the most left-wing departments, having voted for Carlos Gaviria (Polo) in 2006 against Uribe, and it has now had three left-wing governors in a row (the current one is former Polo/Green senator Camilo Romero); the left also controls the city halls in Pasto (the capital) and Ipiales (the third largest city, and main border crossing with Ecuador). Uribismo is very weak; Santos won two-thirds of the vote in the 2014 runoff, and 43% in the first round. In Tumaco, Santos won 65% in the second round.
  • Chocó: Colombia's only majority Afro-Colombian department, the most remote one besides the Amazonian ones (fun fact: it's also the rainiest region in the world), has, by number of victims proportional to its population, suffered the most from the armed conflict since the 1980s. All armed groups are active. Long forgotten by the authorities and rotten by corruption, it is the symbol of the Colombian State's quasi-criminal abandon of millions of its own citizens to their own fate. Politically, uribismo is very weak here - Uribe lost Chocó in 2002 and won it only by a hair in 2006, in 2014, Santos won 52% and then 63% of its votes. The CD won just 4% of the vote for Senate in Chocó in 2014. Afro-Colombian advocacy groups and civic movements have long been active in the peace movement (interestingly, Afro-Colombian women often seem to feature prominently in pacifist causes), and I would expect a massive vote for the Yes. One place, however, to look at with special attention will be Bojayá, tragically infamous for the 2002 massacre, in which the FARC killed nearly 80 civilians, an event which became one of the more emblematic massacres of the conflict (the FARC travelled to Bojayá in 2015 to ask for victims' forgiveness, their first public apology directly to a community). Corrupt caciques retain dominance of local politics.
  • Putumayo: The southwestern department, on the border with Ecuador and at the western extremity of the Colombian Amazon, has been one of the hotbeds of the conflict, primarily the guerrilla, and also one of the main coca cultivating departments in the country (and consistently so, through all of Plan Colombia). It is famous (presumably to me only) for being the only department not to vote for Santos in 2010, and then being one of his best in 2014 (66.9% in the runoff, 39% in the first round). Its politics are interesting - the left has real strength here, although it shows up only intermittently, perhaps because some of those votes went to Guillermo Rivera (Liberal), representative between 2002 and 2014 (one of the main figures behind the victims law) and unsuccessful candidate for Senate in 2014. The current governor, Sorrel Aroca (Green), has been very supportive of the peace process and is active for the Yes.
  • Barrancabermeja (Santander): The city of oil refineries has been at the centre of the conflict in the Magdalena Medio for years, disputed between guerrillas (and the political left and unions, always strong here) and the paramilitaries, with the latter basically seizing control of the city around 2002. Now, it is back to being something of a left-wing stronghold, at least as far as the 2014 presidential election can be used to make such claims - Clara López placed first with 32% in 2014, and her voters allowed Santos to triumph with 74% in the runoff. It will be interesting to see how the final agreement was received by voters here, and how effective the left and the unions were in mobilizing support for the Yes outside of Bogotá.
  • Catatumbo region / Tibú (Norte de Santander): Another of the main regions of conflict, with an active presence of all armed groups (FARC, ELN, EPL remnants, Bacrim) because of its resource wealth (oil, historically, and now coca) and the border with Venezuela, one of Latin America's "hottest" borders (and not because of Colombian paramilitaries commanded by Uribe plotting to destroy the glorious Bolivarian socialist motherland, like Maduro claimed). The Polo was strong in a select number of municipalities in 2014, in both elections, because of its ability to catch some of the remnants of the 2013 agrarian protests (Polo senator Jesus Alberto Castilla was one of the agrarian leaders then); there have been claims that, in these municipalities, the guerrillas, including the ELN and EPL, coerced voters. Santos was very strong in the Catatumbo, including Tibú (the capital), where the left wasn't. Norte de Santander as a whole seems interesting - I don't know much about it (except that its politics are a fest, and that the mayor of Cúcuta is the ally of a convicted murderer/former mayor)
  • San Vicente del Caguán (Caquetá): The infamous and stigmatized centre of the FARC's old zona de despeje (1998-2002), which, interestingly, elected a CD mayor in 2015, who initially signalled that he'd remain neutral but is now backing the No openly. Zuluaga won the municipality in 2014.
  • Cartagena del Chairá (Caquetá): One of the few original UP strongholds where the left remains strong to this day.
  • Florencia (Caquetá) and Leticia (Amazonas): I won't pretend to know much about politics in these places, especially the boonies (Amazonas), but they're the only two departmental capitals which elected a CD mayor in 2015, although only one (Leticia) is openly for the No.
  • Casanare: Zuluaga won 77.8% of the vote in the runoff in 2014 in this oil-rich, old paramilitary stomping ground (= its politicians are all scum, basically) in the Llanos (it had also been Santos' best department, ironically but unsurprisingly, in 2010). It is also the only department with a CD governor, who is remaining neutral. What may be interesting is Yopal, the capital: in 2015, it famously elected Jhon Jairo Torres, better known as Jhon 'Calzones' (underwear), who was in jail at the time (and is now back in jail, for the third term). He is the owner of a store selling women's panties, who got rich overnight (and spends his money on eccentricities, like army jeeps) and illegally began a housing development for 10,000 poor families (on land seized from drug traffickers, no less) sold at discount (in exchange for a vote). Jhon 'Calzones' was behind Zuluaga in 2014, but apparently peeved at how uribismo treated him in return, he is supporting the Yes from his prison cell in Bogotá.

Concentration zones - where the FARC's demobilization will take place

  • Anorí, Antioquia
  • Dabeiba, Antioquia
  • Ituango, Antioquia
  • Remedios, Antioquia
  • Vigía del Fuerte, Antioquia
  • Arauquita, Arauca
  • Cartagena del Chairá, Caquetá
  • La Montañita, Caquetá
  • San Vicente del Caguán, Caquetá
  • Buenos Aires, Cauca
  • Caldono, Cauca
  • Corinto, Cauca
  • La Paz, Cesar
  • Riosucio, Chocó
  • Tierralta, Córdoba
  • Fonseca, La Guajira
  • San José del Guaviare, Guaviare
  • La Macarena, Meta
  • Mesetas, Meta
  • Vistahermosa, Meta
  • Policarpa, Nariño
  • Tumaco, Nariño
  • Tibú, Norte de Santander
  • Puerto Asis, Putumayo
  • Planadas, Tolima (also the 'birthplace' of the FARC)
  • Villarrica, Tolima (1955 battle of Villarrica, the government's assault on communist rebels)
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« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2016, 11:00:11 AM »

Very Sad! that nobody seems to care about an event of such importance, but what can you do.
FWIW I'm reading with great interest, there's just very little to add from someone who sadly knows little of Latin America, and less of this part of it.

If I may go full #AMA - What would be the immediate (political, not legal) consequences of a Sí and No victory, respectively? And how would you expect the FARC to react to a No result in the longer term?
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« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2016, 06:42:19 PM »

If I may go full #AMA - What would be the immediate (political, not legal) consequences of a Sí and No victory, respectively? And how would you expect the FARC to react to a No result in the longer term?

Sí victory: It would allow for the implementation of the final agreement to begin, using the special legislative mechanism adopted for speedy congressional approval of all necessary laws to implement it. The first will be expediting the amnesty law, which the FARC say is necessary before they can disarm, and is expected to come very quickly after the plebiscite (the text was included as part of the final agreement). Afterwards will be the constitutional amendments for transitional justice (JEP), the approval law for the final agreement, the incorporation of the final agreement into the constitution (i.e. SURRENDERING TO CASTRO-CHAVISMO!) and so on down the list (the other important things: creation of the land fun, political/electoral reform etc.) - it's all laid out neatly in the text of the final agreement. Simultaneously, the concentration and disarmament of the FARC will begin, under international (UN) supervision, and must be completed within 180 days - but it's not quite sure if the clock has started (the agreement talks 180 days from 'd-day', but nobody has defined 'd-day'). Hopefully they pass the law making homosexuality mandatory soon Smiley

Politically, the FARC will tell us more about what political strategy they intend to follow. A Sí victory would be a big win for Santos and the government, but, for now, Santos' disapproval is still over 60%, and time will tell if that changes (I really don't foresee his approvals improving much, since implementation will bring up a lot of unintended/unannounced consequences which won't go over well). Although, since he has no electoral incentives, Santos will likely spend the second half of his term trying to be the 'president of peace' or whatever. Now, those who do have electoral things to think about (i.e. 2018), will need to make their plans clearly fairly soon - those holding office (i.e. Vice President) will need to resign it a year before the election, so as soon as next spring we will have Vargas Lleras out of the vice presidency and officially campaigning (ha! as if he isn't already!). Vargas Lleras is a slimy opportunist, who will be closely watching how the final agreement goes over to decide which position to adopt (if it goes well: "vote for me, i was with it all along and peace is so cool! btw remember all the nice highways and free houses i built personally?"/if it goes poorly: "i always had my doubts here folks, Santos didn't listen to me but here we are! Not good! btw remember all the nice highways and free houses i built personally?"/if FARC-bashing becomes popular: "mano firme corazón grande's back baby (btw remember all the nice highways and free houses i built personally?)").

But Vargas Lleras won't be allowed to run away with it - the Liberals and the U, will fight one another to be the 'party of peace', but may come together to find a way to sabotage Vargas Lleras (so far, the Liberals - esp. César Gaviria - really like the idea of chief negotiator Humberto de la Calle running in 2018, but I have my doubts - there's a difference, obviously, between being respected as a non-partisan negotiator and active partisan politics; he'd also be a mighty throwback to the '90s in political terms).

The reorganization of the left, prompted by the FARC's entrance into politics, will be very interesting - especially since everything indicates that the FARC won't participate alone, but rather seek a 'broad coalition', a possibility which is already dividing the Polo a lot and will divide it even further once the FARC actually become a political movement. I have a feeling the Polo won't be around much longer. Then you have people like Gustavo Petro and Sergio Fajardo who will figure out the best way to run for president. TLDR: lots of interesting things will come from it.

No victory: Nobody knows. Uribe claims that the agreement will be renegotiated so that we can get a bunch of stuff which sounds nice (peace without impunity!1 no war criminals in Congress!2 jail for the guerrilla commanders!3) but is really a pipe dream, and the constitution/law makes it clear that only Santos has the power to handle such matters. The government claims that the FARC will go back to blowing you up and killing people, but that's fairly unlikely because things have changed a whole lot from 2012 (and you also have stuff like the military now has a lot of information about the FARC's locations, or that the UN is already in Colombia). The FARC suggest that they won't do that, but also make clear that they won't renegotiate. If they do agree to renegotiate, everybody feels that the FARC would enter in a position of strength, and demand that the agreements be changed to accommodate their demands as well, and the most likely modification to come about would be a constituent assembly, where both the FARC and Uribe have common ground (guess what: Uribe wants one so he can become the Colombian Ortega/Maduro - who is castro-chavista now?).

What is certain is that the government would be weakened, to the point where Santos may become so weak and stripped of all legitimacy that resignation will be on the table. The coalition would collapse, with CR (and the Conservatives) bolting in a second and the Liberals/U gaining bargaining power v. Santos and/or finding a way to implement the agreement, in part or in full, through Congress, since the plebiscite's result is only binding on the President (whether this is legal is another issue), although this will be difficult since I don't foresee CR or the Conservatives being overly enthusiastic at this kind of stuff.

Uribe will be strengthened, and the CD's strategy for 2018 will become very important - you may see Vargas Lleras ally with Uribe, but that depends to what extent Uribe still holds a grudge against Vargas Lleras (he probably still does - he's not a forgiving person). Ordóñez's presidential candidacy may be boosted, though there are lots of question marks here. My best guess here is that Uribe, deep down, has no idea what would happen but is just going for the No because of his intense, personal hatred for 'Santos the dirty traitor' (and Uribe is basically a 5 year old kid who wants to punch you in the face because you stole his toy)

1 This isn't how peace agreements actually work (and Colombia's agreement has way less impunity than (a) most peace agreements in the world and (b) more than any previous peace agreement in Colombian history).
2 As if there aren't already criminals in Congress!
3 Definitely realistic to have a peace agreement starting with the invitation "haha you'll still go to jail for 30 years at the end of it suckers!"
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SPQR
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« Reply #31 on: October 01, 2016, 08:32:25 AM »

Very Sad! that nobody seems to care about an event of such importance, but what can you do.
FWIW I'm reading with great interest, there's just very little to add from someone who sadly knows little of Latin America, and less of this part of it.
Same here
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Bacon King
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« Reply #32 on: October 02, 2016, 04:37:52 AM »

Hash I just discover this thread and I wanted to say it's awesome and I am very excited about an election I knew almost nothing about just an hour ago
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aross
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« Reply #33 on: October 02, 2016, 07:24:03 AM »

If I may go full #AMA - What would be the immediate (political, not legal) consequences of a Sí and No victory, respectively? And how would you expect the FARC to react to a No result in the longer term?
snip
This is why Old Atlas need likes. Thanks!

Finally - to what extent is the government serious about implementing the parts of the agreement I get the impression will be unpopular among (certain parts of) the establishment (land reform springs to mind in particular)?
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« Reply #34 on: October 02, 2016, 10:35:40 AM »

Finally - to what extent is the government serious about implementing the parts of the agreement I get the impression will be unpopular among (certain parts of) the establishment (land reform springs to mind in particular)?

That may be the million dollar question. It will certainly be difficult to implement the entirety of the agreement or, at best, it will take lots of time. Land reform carries certain benefits for the more progressive/enlightened parts of the establishment: formalizing property titles will permit a real market for land and investments, for example. The land reform agreement may also help increase the productivity and efficiency of agriculture, currently shackled by problems such as widespread rural poverty, the absence of technology of any kind in much smaller farm properties and so much land being used for cattle grazing. One would also guess that the government has promised its people in the regions that they will be able to get in all those anti-poverty infrastructure programs. In a way, the land reform agreement is also a natural progression from the 2011 victims law. Which isn't to say that there won't be resistance here - Fedegán, the main cattle ranchers' association and reactionary outpost, has been hard at work trying to sabotage the 2011 law and isn't happy about this.

On illicit drugs, the current government has shifted away from the traditional failed 'drug war' approach (whose most visible expression was aerial spraying) and has refocused, at least on paper, to see drugs as a public health issue. The agreement continues in that direction, with the hope that with the cooperation of the FARC, crop substitution programs will be successful nationally. It's a tall order. There's some pushback from parts of the 'establishment' here too - the new attorney general, a lawyer for rich people, has come out in favour of aerial spraying, which was stopped in 2015.

Political participation has controversial points as well, but may be one of the less difficult things as far as the main aspects are concerned - a 'statute of the opposition', which is required by the Constitution (i.e. since 1991 Roll Eyes), electoral reform, facilitating the creation of new parties and guarantees for social movements. The devil, here, will be in the details - I'm particularly curious as to what the government has in mind for electoral reform and new political parties.
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« Reply #35 on: October 02, 2016, 02:38:42 PM »

I'd forgotten until last night that this was this weekend. Thanks for all the great info on this Hash.  When do you think we can expect some results?
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Skye
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« Reply #36 on: October 02, 2016, 04:32:23 PM »

Results coming in, SI just barely ahead 50.3% to 49.7% with 31% of the votes counted.
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Doctor V
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« Reply #37 on: October 02, 2016, 04:33:04 PM »

Results coming in, SI just barely ahead 50.3% to 49.7% with 31% of the votes counted.

Oh Christ.

Where are the votes coming from?
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ilikeverin
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« Reply #38 on: October 02, 2016, 04:39:27 PM »

50.0 to 49.9 Shocked with I think 69% reporting (I'm guessing that's what "mesas informadas" are).  Haven't found a place with a map yet.
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Skye
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« Reply #39 on: October 02, 2016, 04:39:46 PM »

Results coming in, SI just barely ahead 50.3% to 49.7% with 31% of the votes counted.

Oh Christ.

Where are the votes coming from?

http://plebiscito.registraduria.gov.co/99PL/DPLZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ_L1.htm

69% in

SI: 50.05
NO: 49.94
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ilikeverin
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« Reply #40 on: October 02, 2016, 04:41:13 PM »

Ah, here we are! http://www.eltiempo.com/

Medellín does not like peace, apparently.
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Skye
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« Reply #41 on: October 02, 2016, 04:42:28 PM »

Ah, here we are! http://www.eltiempo.com/

Medellín does not like peace, apparently.

Isn't Medellín a pro-Uribe bastion? That would make sense, then.
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ilikeverin
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« Reply #42 on: October 02, 2016, 04:44:45 PM »

Jesus Christ.  Something like a 600-vote margin Shocked Shocked Shocked with 83% in.
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Doctor V
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« Reply #43 on: October 02, 2016, 04:48:42 PM »

sh*tsh*tsh*tsh*tsh*tsh*tsh*tsh*tsh*t
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Skye
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« Reply #44 on: October 02, 2016, 04:48:50 PM »

NO's winning now with 50.1%.

Brexit's got nuthin' on this.
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Doctor V
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« Reply #45 on: October 02, 2016, 04:50:27 PM »

Oh f**k it's over. F**k direct democracy.
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Hash
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« Reply #46 on: October 02, 2016, 04:54:47 PM »

94.6% reporting

NO 50.16% 6.107.565
YES 49.83% 6.067.957

Words can't express how terrible and enraged I feel now.
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aross
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« Reply #47 on: October 02, 2016, 04:58:30 PM »

Well fyck.
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Mike88
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« Reply #48 on: October 02, 2016, 05:01:53 PM »
« Edited: October 02, 2016, 05:05:16 PM by Mike88 »

Wow!!! What could be the political consequences of this result? Could FARC start making terrorists attacks again?
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Hash
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« Reply #49 on: October 02, 2016, 05:05:18 PM »

It's over, the NO has won. Seems like the paramilitaries will have their last laugh.

97.88% reporting
NO 50.22% - 6.328.501
SÍ 49.77% - 6.270.730

Wow!!! What could the political consequences of these results? Could FARC start making terrorists attacks again?

Nobody knows. I feel as if the uncertainty here is bigger than Brexit.
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