Colombians weigh costs of crucial plebiscite vote

Global Business

colombians-weigh-costs-of-crucial-plebiscite-vote

The death toll in a conflict that began 50 years ago is enormous. And although the government promises peace will be good for the economy, sealing the deal is costly.

CCTV America’s Michelle Begue reports.

Colombians weigh costs of crucial plebiscite vote

Colombians weigh costs of crucial plebiscite vote

The death toll in a conflict that began 50 years ago is enormous. And although the government promises peace will be good for the economy, sealing the deal is costly. CCTV America’s Michelle Begue reports.

On October 2nd Colombians are going to answer one simple question on the government’s deal with FARC rebels: “Do you support the final agreement to end the conflict and the construction of a stable and long-lasting peace.”

It will require a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer, but the logistics for staging a ballot are complex. The government now acknowledging the cost to taxpayers will approach $100 million.

For the peace accord to be ratified at least 13 percent of registered voters will have to vote “Yes.” And if the “No” votes wins the peace deal will be thrown out.

Popular ratification of the agreement was so mething President Juan Manuel Santos promised from the start of peace talks. But as the costs of the vote became clear, some citizens said they no longer support it.

The Colombian government has pledged to find the resources to pay for the plebiscite. While some worry about the high cost of the vote, the financial challenge of peace doesn’t end there.

According to government estimates, more than $30 billion will be needed over the next 10 years to implement all aspects of the peace accord.

As costly as that sounds, proponents of the deal argue this is far less than the country has spent fighting FARC over the last 50 years.