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Colombia

Yearbook 2010

Colombia. In the second round of the presidential election June 20, Juan Manuel Santos, leader of an alliance of center-right parties, won a smashing victory over Colombian environmentalist Antanas Mockus. Santos, who lost a victory by just barely a margin in the first round of elections in May, received 69 percent of the votes cast, against just 28 percent for Mockus. In general, Santos's message of national unity and job-creation measures, given that Colombia has South America's highest unemployment rate, has gained greater hearing among voters than Mockus's promises of welfare through tax increases. According to COUNTRYAAH, the victory was also seen as a sign that voters want a continuation of the policies pursued by Álvaro Uribe, who resigned from office after eight years and, among other things, stood for an uncompromising policy towards the country's leftist guerrillas.

2010 Colombia

At the same time, the Santos alliance received great support in Congress; 80 percent of the senators and 85 percent of the members of the House of Representatives are behind him during the coming term.

In recent years, the increasingly strained relations with neighboring Venezuela improved somewhat through the election of Santos as president of Colombia. Admittedly, in mid-July, Defense Minister Gabriel Silva published evidence that the top leaders of guerrilla groups FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) and ELN (Ejército de Liberación Nacional) were hiding in Venezuela with President Hugo Chávez's fond memory. While Chávez refused to come to the newly elected Santos presidential installation in Bogotá on August 7, Santos declared that he was steadfastly adhering to his predecessor Uribe's policy. But within three days of the installation ceremony, Santos contacted both Chávez and Ecuador's President Rafael Correa, with whom Uribe had disputes, and all heads of state expressed their will for peace and consensus.

In the war against the FARC, the government won a major propaganda victory in late September when the guerrilla group's "field marshal" and military strategist Victor Suárez, better known by the nickname Mono Jojoy, were killed in the Macarena Mountains in southern Colombia.

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