Thursday, October 6, 2016

Poverty and Peace

Impoverished Colombians are much more likely to have suffered from Colombia's conflict. So, why
did they vote against the peace accord - at least in Bogotá?

Take a look at Bogotá's voting results, as published in El Tiempo. While Usaquen, Chapinero and Teusaquillo all voted SI, while majorities in the poor neighborhoods of Bosa, USME and Ciudad Bolivar, voted NO. On the other hand, many other poor rural areas of the country, such as Chocó, Putumayo and La Guajira, voted heavily SI.
On the one hand, you might expect that victims of violence, such as the tens of thousands of displaced people living in these poor areas, would vote SI to end the conflict. El Tiempo, however, hypothesizes that impoverished Colombians object to the guerrillas, who may have victimized them, receiving government stipends and other support, as agreed to in the peace accord.

Poverty has undoubtedly fueled Colombia's conflict. It may also be blocking an agreement.

Update: Multiple news reports say that evangelical churches, which tend to be strongest in poor neighborhoods, came out strong for the No vote, which might explain both the No winning in poor neighborhoods and the higher turnout there. However, the connection between the peace deal and evangelical issues - mostly LGBT rights - is pretty tenuous.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

1 comment:

Stuart Oswald said...

Why did the rich seek to impose a bad deal upon poorer people? Had the vote been the other way around and the Si had won. That margin for the approval for a deal will not have given the necessary mandate to move forward. A deal for peace should have been far more favourable to the actual people of Colombia than appeasing a band of murderers and rapists with an abhorrent ideology. Gladly enough people had the strength to go against something that was obviously rotten. Santos fought his people were tired and beaten. They've been vindicated now with Santos joining the likes of Obama who drones babies in the name of peace.