This time, the Final Accord is final. The Colombian government may be putting the same name on its new peace agreement that it used to brand its earlier, failed peace deal with leftist guerrillas. But while that document, signed formally on September 26, was narrowly rejected in a nationwide plebiscite, this one is a done deal.
There will be no more changes or amendments to the new deal signed last weekend by President Juan Manuel Santos and the top commanders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), says the government’s lead negotiator Humberto De la Calle.
“This is the final accord, it’s the definitive accord,” said De la Calle this week. “There’s really no room for more negotiation.”
His choice of words will not be lost on those who have opposed the deal. Current Senator and Former President Alvaro Uribe, the chief political rival to Santos and opposition leader, held a press conference last Saturday to note that he hopes that the president doesn’t view the new deal as “definitive.” He said that he and other figures want a chance to review the changes and weigh in, but De la Calle’s position suggests that any ongoing protest will not lead to further revisions.
READ THE NEW FINAL ACCORD IN FULL HERE
COMPARE THE CHANGES FROM THE EARLIER, FAILED AGREEMENT
In the face of this new reality, Uribe may be softening his stance. “I would suggest — from what we have heard from the nation’s attorney general, Supreme Court, state council — that this national agreement includes justice,” said Uribe yesterday, speaking from the Senate.
Uribe and his supporters have had a few days to review the full text of the new agreement, which included changes to 56 of its 57 sections. But they still have not revealed their stance on whether the revisions are sufficient to overcome their earlier concerns. In his public comments since seeing the document, Uribe has only noted the need for justice and “national agreement.”
He added that his allies will continue to analyze the Final Accord until Friday or Saturday. Then, after a full review, they hope to sit down with De la Calle before the formal debate of the deal in the Senate can begin, perhaps as soon as Wednesday.