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News > Latin America

Mujica: Colombians are for Peace but Not So Much for Santos

  • Jose

    Jose "Pepe" Mujica is an outspoken proponent of the peace process in Colombia. | Photo: AFP

Published 16 October 2016

The former Uruguayan president told El Pais that “the working class supports peace, but doesn’t support the government.”

Former Uruguayan President Jose “Pepe” Mujica, a fervent supporter of the “Yes” vote for the peace accords in Colombia between the government and the FARC-EP, criticized Colombian President and this year’s Nobel laureate Manuel Santos for not working hard enough to advance peace.

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The plebiscite, he said in an interview with El Pais, was “too managerial and with little participation of those from below. The people showed up to the peace process as if they were on a balcony.”

Mujica has said that he is friends with Santos but admitted that “the working class supports peace, but doesn’t support the government.”

The former president favored a negotiation to end the internal armed conflict in Colombia and followed closely the discussions that took place in Havana, Cuba. Mujica even traveled to Cuba and met the negotiators, offering to be a mediator.

The final peace agreement was achieved on Aug. 24, 2016, after almost four years of negotiations between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. The “Yes” vote could have ended the over five-decade-long conflict that has killed over 220,000 people and displaced some 6.3 million others. Instead, the “No” vote—led by right-wing former president Alvaro Uribe—won by a slight margin with an unexpectedly low voter turnout.

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