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Santos’ Re-election No Guarantee for Colombia Peace

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Colombians re-elected President Juan Manuel Santos for a second term on June 15, in what is being described as a referendum on his government’s peace negotiations to end the half-century-long guerrilla war with the FARC. The election was close until the very end, with pre-election polls predicting differing results. In the end, Santos won a little more than 50 percent of the votes while his challenger, former Finance Minister Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, gained a little over 45 percent, providing a close yet nonetheless decisive mandate for the incumbent president to continue with the peace process. With this in mind, some observers are already predicting that negotiations will successfully conclude by the end of this year or shortly thereafter, and have begun to look ahead toward implementation of the peace accords.

But that’s not necessarily the actual message of the election, either in terms of the peace negotiations or in terms of the rest of the Colombia’s domestic and international agenda. ...

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