Despite Artist Support, Colombians Reject Peace Accord

 Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Juanes performs at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 19, 2015 in New York City. 

In a stunning rebuke of the Colombian government, Colombians voted against the much-touted peace treaty with the rebel group FARC that would have ended more than five decades of civil war.

Following the tally #ColombiaDecide was the top trending topic on Twitter, though Colombian artists -- many of whom were vocally supportive of the “Yes” vote -- were largely mum on the subject at press time Sunday night (Oct. 2).

The “No” vote passed by a tiny margin: According to reports, 50.22 percent of voters selected “No,” beating “Yes” by a mere 60,000 votes.

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The numbers highlight how divisive and contentious the peace-treaty vote had become, with the government funding huge campaigns pushing for “Yes,” and with other prominent Colombian politicians, including former president Alvaro Uribe, campaigning to reject an agreement that many felt was too lenient and generous with a guerilla group that had committed well-documented atrocities for decades.

Even the few artists who posted on their Twitter accounts Sunday evening were divided. 

"Nothing new," posted rock trio Diamante Electrico. "We all lost and everything will continue to be the same: A country torn by shitty politics, intolerance and inequality."

Carlos Vives, who has advocated for peace but hadn't specifically advocated for a "Yes" vote, was more measured, posting: "This result will show the real vocation for peace we've all professed to have. #Wecandoit."

All polls had indicated that the “Yes” vote would win. In the weeks leading up to the peace accord, which was signed Sept. 26, and to Sunday’s vote, which would have ratified it, many Colombian stars posted their support on their social sites. Singer Fonseca, a staunch supporter of the peace treaty, had been invited to participate in a Ringo Starr song for piece, “Now the Time Has Come,” which was released Sept. 30 to coincide with the Colombian vote.

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After voting Sunday, Juanes posted his “Yes” ballot on Twitter. Aterciopelados participated in a “Yes Party” on Sept. 27, following the signing of the treaty. Up-and-comers Herencia de Timbiqui, who had the theme song for a series titled “La Nina” that advocated for a “Yes” vote, also posted their support on Twitter.

Like Vives, some artists including Shakira hadn’t vocally advocated for the "Yes" vote but had tweeted about the importance of achieving peace. 

On Sunday night, few were saying anything, a reminder that, in politics, openly-expressed opinions don't always go hand in hand with public sentiment. 


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