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Colombia’s Santos May Face Livelier Opposition in New Congress

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Colombia’s congressional election Sunday proved a modest setback for President Juan Manuel Santos. A new party loyal to former President Alvaro Uribe, a conservative populist and vocal critic of Santos, made a reasonably strong showing, though without securing enough seats to either pass or block legislation. Santos may now find it more difficult to move legislation forward, but his agenda as a whole will survive.

Uribe, now Colombia’s most prominent new senator, served as president from 2002 to 2010, and is popular for having overseen a military buildup and offensive that weakened the country’s large leftist guerrilla groups and sharply reduced violent crime. He broke with Santos, his successor and former defense minister, over a number of issues, including Santos’ softer line on Venezuela, ministerial nominations, land restitution efforts and especially his 2012 decision to negotiate peace with leftist guerrillas. ...

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