Colombia

Did the Climate Influence Colombian Voters' Rejection of the FARC Peace Deal?

The political climate in Colombia and especially next-door Venezuela may have, a lot more than any weather concerns.

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MARIANA GREIF/SIPA/Newscom

Voters in Colombia narrowly rejected a peace deal struck between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a Marxist guerilla/narcotrafficking group. With 99.25 percent of votes reported, 50.24 percent of voters rejected the deal, while 49.75 percent voted to approve it. Out of nearly 35 million eligible voters, about 13 million came out to vote, The City Paper of Bogota reports.

Heavy rains from Hurricane Matthew along the coast, where support for the government and the referendum (the latter becoming something of a proxy vote on the former) was believed to be strongest, were blamed on lower turnout there. Climate change alarmist Naomi Klein tweeted that if such reports were true, the role of climate change in "intensifying conflict" was on a "whole new level." It's a specious argument. Irrespective of whether Hurricane Matthew is even a result of whatever Klein defines as "climate change," its effect on the referendum, if any, is not innately pro-conflict. Had the hurricane hit a part of the country considered a stronghold of opponents of the deal, it could've, assuming any effect in the first place, helped get the Yes vote over the top.

As it stands, the political climate in both Colombia and especially neighboring Venezuela played a far more prominent role. The low-intensity conflict between FARC, other left-wing militant groups, as well as right-wing militant groups, paramilitary groups, and the government has been ongoing since the early 1960s, when FARC was founded, and can be traced even back to the 1940s, and the era of La Violencia, a ten-year civil war sparked by the assassination of the left-wing populist politician Jorge Gaitan. The United States has sporadically intervened in the conflict over the last half century.

Opponents of the government complained that the president, Juan Santos, associated himself too much with the deal, turning the referendum on the peace deal into a referendum on him. Other supporters of the No vote insisted a better deal was possible, one where FARC militants would face more penalties for their various crimes during the conflict and perhaps would not receive unelected seats in the national legislature. The leaders of FARC themselves indicated prior to the vote that a rejection of the deal would not send them back into the bush, but that they were committed to peace, making the vote less of a "peace or war" decision than some backers of the deal portrayed it as.

The current peace deal emerged from negotiations held in Havana—the United States eventually sent a diplomat of their own, signaling approval of a peace deal in principle in a conflict U.S. intervention—via material support for the government and its counter-narcotics/drug war policies in the region has helped intensify. The situation in Venezuela, whose government once tried to broker a peace between FARC and the Colombian government, may have influenced voters as well. Once a prominent example of actually-existing socialism for socialist boosters in South and North America, Venezuela is now quickly descending into a self-inflicted political and economic chaos, with widespread shortages and an increasingly authoritarian government that blames all kinds of actors other than their own central planners on the government's failures. The military even stepped in this summer to take control of food distribution services. It's not difficult to imagine Colombian voters looking at the tragic outcome of left-wing, socialist, chavismo in Venezuela and deciding they did not want to risk that for their own country by inviting Marxist extremists to participate in the political process on the strength of their terrorist campaign alone.

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  1. We have so much global warming, we can’t even vote right!!!!

    WHAT THE FUCK DO WE DO NOW, GENIUSES?!?!?! WHAT NOW!?!?!

    ARGH! REPENT!!

    1. Climate change caused me to file my taxes late!

      1. Climate change made me kick my dog!

        1. It turned me into a newt.

          1. Did you get better?

              1. Where is Mr Lizard when you need him?

          2. I was going to court, and then the climate changed
            I was gonna pay my child support, and then the climate change
            They took my whole paycheck, and I know why
            Because the climate changed, because the climate changed, because the climate changed….

  2. Marxism versus climate change alarmism? Now I’ve seen everything!

  3. Climate change alarmist Naomi Klein tweeted that if such reports were true, the role of climate change in “intensifying conflict” was on a “whole new level.”

    Question; Is Naomi Klein so stupid she actually believes this, or so dishonest that she doesn’t believe it and published it anyway?

    1. I’m not ruling out dishonest and stupid when it comes to Klein.

    2. Actually, the question is phrased as mutually exclusive alternatives, smart guys.

      If she is so stupid she actually believes it, she can’t be dishonest.

      If she is being dishonest, it must be because she doesn’t believe it, so she can’t be that stupid.

      1. In practical terms, I can’t tell the difference. In other words, who the fuck knows?

      2. Actually, she’s probably being opportunistic on the climate change issues. Her traditional hobbyhorse was anticapitalism.

  4. Shouldn’t the Weathermen be involved somehow?

    1. +1 Guilty as Hell, Free as a bird.

  5. Oh, wait, so AGW is causing killer hurricanes again as it did in 2005 before taking a break for a decade or so? I see.

    From what I’ve read, the No vote was driven mostly by a shitload of people whose loved ones were murdered by FARC who were seriously pissed that there were going to be no consequences for them whatsoever, just a “Hey, sorry, our bad! We’ll stop now.”

    1. Yeah, that would make sense.

      Though in the case of a civil war, “Hey, sorry, our bad! We’ll stop now.” may be the best you can hope for. Forcing the losers in a war to make reparations for all the damage they did hasn’t always worked out well.

      1. Agreed, but resistance to that is understandable (if ultimately counterproductive)

  6. Would FARC frack?

    1. Farc yes, they would!

  7. Good fuckin’ grief. I thought chicken little couldn’t do anything to discredit himself more. I was wrong.

    I expect there will be an snowballing of stupid regarding global warming. The harder they try to sell their lie the thinner it gets.

    1. Thanks to climate change, pretty soon nobody will use the term snowballing to mean accumulating.

  8. Climate schmimate – and this klein asshole is a sickening, tendentious, moral cretin

    To observers in South America, this outcome was a surprise. The key is the abstention rate, which worries the power classes of various countries. For anyone who cares, here is from today’s El Mercurio de Santiago de Chile: “La abstenci?n electoral es un fen?meno que se ha instalado en el mundo y en Latinoam?rica, el caso de Colombia es un ejemplo: Ayer, s?lo el 37% de los ciudadano de ese pa?s particip? en el plebiscito sobre el proceso de paz entre el Gobierno y las FARC. Un fen?meno que tambi?n toca a Chile, considerando que apenas el 40% del electorado acudi? a las urnas en la ?ltima presidencial.”

    1. Dude, in Trumpese please.

      1. The electoral abstention is a phenomenon that has been installed in the world and in Latin America, Colombia is an example: yesterday, only 37% of the citizens of that country took part in the referendum on the peace process between the Government and the FARC. A phenomenon that also plays at Chile, considering that just 40% of the electorate turned out to vote in the last presidential.

        1. Pretty close. My translation : Voting abstention is a phenomenon that has entered Latin America. Colombia is an example: yesterday, only 37% of the citizens of that country took part in the referendum regarding the peace process between the government and FARC. (this is) A phenomenon that also affects Chile, considering that just 40% of the electorate turned out to vote in the last presidential elections.

      2. RACIST!

  9. It’s not difficult to imagine Colombian voters looking at the tragic outcome of left-wing, socialist, chavismo in Venezuela and deciding they did not want to risk that for their own country by inviting Marxist extremists to participate in the political process on the strength of their terrorist campaign alone.

    So that’s a good thing Kray Kray? Wait a second. I thought ideological litmus tests for ascertaining whether or not one should be allowed to participate in society and the political process was a violation of some human right? Or is that only when the ideologue needs to cross a border first?

    1. No, only when the ideologue has spent decades trying to kill you and kidnapping people and whatnot.

      But ultimately, unless you have an unconditional surrender, you probably do have to either let them participate or go back to having a war with them.

      1. If it’s okay for Colombian voters to decide that they don’t want communists steering the machinery of state then it must be okay that any other group of voters would want to exclude other ideological groups from steering the machinery of state too, like Muslims and any western electorate we care to name for example.

        1. WHYCOME AIN’T THIS FAGGOT RITER AINT TALKIN BOUT THEM FUCKIN FAGGOT TERRIST FAGGOTS HUH

  10. Isn’t the coast where most of the Black Colombians live? Sounds to me like Naomi Klein is missing the real story here. Clearly, this is a racist hurricane, probably intentionally created by Capitalist weather-controllers in order to disenfranchise the minority population.

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