Last Sunday Colombians shocked the world by voting against the peace agreement that President Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC leaders have been negotiating for four years. With a slim turnout of 37.4 percent, the No vote won with by just 54,000 votes. To put this number in perspective this is the approximate amount of people that can sit in the Monumental de Palmaseca, the largest Colombian football stadium.
Whatever the reasons for the low turnout—be it the weather, a desire from the people to show their disgust with the peace agreement, or a bad job at raising awareness about the importance of the vote by the pro-peace side—the plebiscite teaches us that in democracy every single vote counts. It should also be a lesson for political leaders to be more humble and understand that, no matter what pollsters’ say (in Colombia they predicted a landslide win to the Yes camp), the real thing happens on the election day. And finally, for Colombians it should be an invitation to continue talking. Even if the No vote won, that doesn’t take away that almost half the voters are in favor of peace, and even more so in the regions more affected by the conflict. At Global Americans we hope that all political leaders and the FARC listen to the people and continue to work hard to achieve peace.
Cartoon credit: El Imparcial de México, CagleCartoons.com