Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos goes to Washington this week to seek Donald Trump’s blessing for his amnesty deal with the narco-terrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. He also wants the $450 million that Barack Obama set aside for Colombia in this year’s U.S. budget. Back home Mr. Santos gets few blessings—a poll published May 8 by the market research firm Yanhaas found he has 19% approval. Mr. Trump might like to consider why that is.
On almost all counts Colombia is worse off than when Mr. Santos took the helm in 2010. Important economic reforms have languished, but last year the government sharply hiked taxes. The economy grew a scant 2% in 2016.
Mr. Santos has presided over a corruption boom.
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Mr. Santos may feel smug when he arrives in Washington. He went around the Colombian Constitution to make his FARC deal law. Then he enshrined it above the constitution, even though the public rejected it in a national plebiscite. He also got his country’s Congress, which he controls, to give him rule-by-decree powers during its implementation.
Colombia is now a place where the president’s political enemies, or their relatives, often wind up in jail. Former President Álvaro Uribe’s brother Santiago has been behind bars since early 2016, though he has never been convicted of any crime.
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