Good news for Colombia, bad news for the FARC:
Uribe Heir Santos Wins Colombia Presidential Vote By Landslide Over Mockus
Colombia’s Juan Manuel Santos won the country’s presidential runoff by a landslide, persuading voters with a pledge to continue Alvaro Uribe’s successes in beating back Marxist rebels.
With 92 percent of polling stations reporting, Santos has 69 percent to 28 percent for the Green Party’s Antanas Mockus. Santos will take over Aug. 7 from Uribe, who brought record growth and slashed by half the number of murders during eight years in office.
Santos is credited with delivering some of the biggest blows against the FARC while serving as defense minister from 2006 to 2008. These include the 2008 rescue of 15 hostages including French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt and three U.S. defense contractors. He also ordered the raid into Ecuador that killed the group’s second in command, Raul Reyes.
At the Wall Street Journal,
Mr. Santos says he will continue the tough security policies of his enormously popular predecessor, President Álvaro Uribe who forced the country’s communist guerrillas, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, to retreat deep into the jungles on the country’s periphery. But while the guerrillas no longer pose an existential threat to the Colombian state, they are still capable of inflicting damage. On Sunday, even as millions of Colombians took to the polls, 10 policemen and three soldiers were killed in guerrilla attacks. Six guerrillas were also killed.
Will the Obama administration seize the opportunity and finally get around to passing the Free Trade agreement with Colombia? It would be the right thing, so don’t count on it.
See also my post at Real Clear World