The Colombian–FARC Peace Deal: Why It Failed, and How the U.S. Can Support a Responsible Renegotiation

On October 2, Colombians rejected a peace deal in a popular referendum negotiated by their government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a Marxist guerilla group. Intended to bring an end to Colombia’s 52-year war, the pact lost by a razor-thin margin, 50.21 percent to 49.78 percent. While public opinion polls had indicated support for the peace deal, overwhelming disapproval of FARC becoming a political party brought it down.

While the Colombian government and FARC have extended a bilateral cease-fire to December 31, a new deal is not expected by then. The U.S. has been deeply involved in Colombia—America’s strongest ally in the region—for years and has an interest in ensuring that the peace deal safeguards U.S. interests in the region. As negotiations for a new peace deal move forward, the U.S. should keep FARC on the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list, intensify efforts to locate hidden FARC financial assets, and guarantee the continuation of security cooperation.

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