Colombians narrowly rejected a peace deal with Marxist insurgents on Sunday, plunging the nation into uncertainty and handing a major defeat to President Juan Manuel Santos, who had staked his reputation on ending the 52-year war.
Before the referendum, Santos, 53, said he had no Plan B and would return Colombia to war if the "no" vote won.
Opinion polls had shown he would comfortably win and then be able to start implementing the deal painstakingly negotiated in Cuba over the past four years to end the longest-running conflict in the Americas.
But Colombian voters confounded that forecast as the "no" camp won with a tiny margin of 50.23 percent to 49.76 as votes were counted from 99.59 percent of voting stations.
I can't find an article I read that did give me pause about the deal. I think it died as a saved tab in a Windows update restart. Amnesty is one thing, but the deal that our government also pushed also had the Colombian government paying for FARC radio stations to enable the rebels/drug dealers to transition to a legitimate political party.
Why should the government (and people) of Colombia pay to have the rebels wage war by other means, I wondered? By all means, the amnestied rebels should have the freedom of speech that other Colombians have, but why subsidize that which the government fought for so many decades to defeat?
But I figured I haven't lived with domestic war all my life. I guess they thought it worth the price to end the war (to be clear, a smaller rebel group is still at war, so it would not have bee a complete mission accomplished moment).
But apparently not. After all this time, the voters (barely) want a peace deal that looks more like the victory that their security forces have earned after fighting for so long.
So is it back to the negotiating table or back to the battlefield?
UPDATE: The deal actually guaranteed the communists 10 seats in their Congress for ten years.
Good grief. A good deal would confirm the government battlefield victory--not partially repeal it.
Tip to Instapundit.