Surprise as Colombians shun peace deal

  • Published
Composite image of Colombian newspaper front pages
Image caption,
Some "Yes" voters broke into tears after hearing the referendum result, newspapers report

Colombian media expressed surprise that voters rejected a peace agreement with the rebel Farc (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) rebel group on Sunday.

Newspaper headlines also reflected the uncertainty over the future of the Farc and the peace agreement.

Colombian daily El Tiempo wrote: "After the victory of the 'No', Santos calls for political dialogue and peace".

"The president summoned all political parties. Uribe is willing to cooperate in favour of a national pact," El Tiempo said.

El Espectador carried a simple but dramatic headline "Noooooooo", alongside a graphic showing how tight the result was.

Image source, El Espectador
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El Espectador summed up its view of the drama of the close vote

"The rejection of the peace agreement almost kills the possibility of the Nobel peace prize," said El Espectador.

The newspaper also carried a story under the headline: "Colombians backing the 'Yes' vote heard the result of the plebiscite in tears".

El Pais asked: "And now what?"

The Cali-based paper also asked if a Nobel Peace Prize for President Juan Manuel Santos and Farc leader Timochenko was now out of the question: "Does the result kill off the chances of Nobel Peace prize for Colombia?"

El Pais also quoted analysts who the paper said "foresee a gloomy panorama for Colombia after the plebiscite".

"No to the accord," was El Colombiano's banner headline, with a picture of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his sombre-faced cabinet reacting to the vote. It reported that the president was seeking a "national dialogue" to tackle the political crisis triggered by the rejection of the peace accord.

Image source, El Colombiano
Image caption,
El Colombiano says President Juan Manuel Santos is seeking a national dialogue to deal with the crisis over the "No" vote

On its front page, El Heraldo wrote: "The Agreement with the Farc rejected by a divided Colombia".

The papers also carried a quote from President Juan Manuel Santos saying: "I will not give up; I will keep searching for peace until the last minute of my administration."

Other front pages voiced the deep uncertainty left by the vote. "And what comes now?" asked El Universal. "Now what?" wondered El Diario/La Tarde on its front page.

Despite the uncertainty and frustration reflected in the headlines, some outlets were more positive, focussing on the possibility that a national consensus could still be reached.

"Opportunity to seek national unity," was newspaper La Republica's headline. The business daily Portafolio took a similar view: "The option of a great national accord emerges."

Independent news website La Silla Vacia meanwhile concentrated on the power of the man behind the "no" campaign: "Uribe is still king".

Image source, La Silla Vacia
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The newspaper La Silla Vacia says former president Alvaro Uribe, the main opponent of the deal, is still king

RCN Noticias said on its website: "Santos: 'the bilateral and definitive cease fire continues in place", while Noticias Caracol ran a story quoting former Vice-President and "no" campaigner Francisco Santos saying: "The process should continue and the Farc should be given guarantees."

Caracol Radio's main story on its webpage said: "Santos and the Unity [National Unity party] are looking for reconciliation with Uribe supporters."

Colombian radio network W Radio took a different approach on its website by quoting Farc leader Timochenko saying "peace is still possible".

National radio network La FM said: "Colombia enters uncertainty after "no" wins the vote."

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