The international community got ahead of itself when it celebrated the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC insurgency before it was a done deal. It is now making the same mistake again, grieving the death of peace after Sunday’s failed referendum. In fact, the chances for a peace deal in Colombia still look promising after voters rejected the agreement that had produced a premature popping of the champagne.
Reaching another deal will not be easy. But there is a real possibility that Colombia could go through a process that would help it tackle not only the half-century-old war with the FARC, but also its larger problems of poverty, inequality and violence.
The results of the weekend’s referendum came as a shock. Pollsters had projected a landslide victory for the Yes camp, and respected experts had predicted the Nobel Peace Prize would go to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the head of the FARC, Rodrigo Londono, better known as “Timochenko.”