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By Marc Frank and Helen Murphy
HAVANA/BOGOTA Oct 4 Colombia's government and
Marxist guerrillas went back to the drawing board in Havana on
Tuesday after a peace deal they painstakingly negotiated over
four years was rejected in a shock referendum result.
In a vote that confounded opinion polls and was a disaster
for President Juan Manuel Santos, Colombians narrowly rebuffed
the pact on Sunday as too lenient on the rebels.
Lead negotiators Humberto de la Calle and Sergio Jaramillo
were back at a Havana convention center on Tuesday meeting
counterparts from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
(FARC) to see what the rebels are willing to do, the government
The Cuban capital was the venue for talks between the two
sides since 2012 that reached an accord to end Colombia's
52-year war that has killed around a quarter of a million
All sides, including "No" voters, who carried the day on
Sunday by less than half a percentage point, say they want an
end to war, and the two parties have kept their ceasefire.
But there is vehement opposition - led by hardline former
President Alvaro Uribe - to major planks of the previous deal,
including guaranteed congressional seats for the FARC and
immunity from traditional jail sentences for leaders.
A renegotiation seems to depend on whether the FARC would
accept tougher conditions, maybe combined with a softening of
Uribe's demands. After years of refusing to meet negotiators,
Uribe has now said he is willing to seek a joint solution.
Santos and Uribe will meet on Wednesday morning, the
president's office said.
Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin said the
decision whether to officially renegotiate the accord lies with
On Monday the rebels said they would remain "faithful" to
the negotiated accord and Twitter messages from FARC leadership
appeared to suggest reluctance to change the terms at this
"The thing is, just as the government has its deal breakers,
so does the FARC, so we have to see if it is willing to reopen
the accord," Holguin told reporters.
"There was no Plan B, we believed the nation wanted peace."
Three representatives from Uribe's right-wing Democratic
Center party are to pore over details with three from the
government. In what may turn into a dual negotiation process,
those meetings are to commence once de la Calle returns from
Colombian financial markets fell on Monday as investors
worried that the limbo over the peace deal would hold up fiscal
reforms such as tax changes.
Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas, however, said the tax
reforms would go ahead.
(Additional reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Writing by Andrew
Cawthorne and Helen Murphy; Editing by Alistair Bell and Frances