Juan Manuel Santos gets another term as President of Colombia
Juan Manuel Santos has secured another term as the President of Colombia as he has won the recently held presidential poll. His victory symbolizes peoples support to his 18-month-old peace negotiations to end country’s longest-running conflict with the left-wing FARC rebel group.
The violent conflict which has been running for several decades has inflicted huge damage to Colombia. It involved armed groups, drug cartels and glaring violations of human rights, although since 2002, the country has made some progress towards improving security.
Colombia: An Overview
Geographically, Colombia is the fourth largest country in South America and one of the most populous nations in this continent. The country has sizeable oil reserves and is a major producer of gold, silver, emeralds, platinum and coal.
Since the 1960s, the country has been ailing from an asymmetric low-intensity armed conflict between the united group of liberal and left-wing guerillas or FARC group and anti-communist Colombian government which has the military and financial backing of the US. Both the paramilitary and the rebel group have been accused of engaging in drug trafficking and terrorism and violations of human rights. The conflict intensified in the 1990s, but since 2000 the conflict has decreased considerably. The peace talks between the government and the FARC began in 2012. Right-wing groups are surrendering under a peace initiative. CurrentPresident Santos maintains his predecessor’s tough stance against the FARC.
Economically, despite growth in recent years, millions dwell in poverty. The country has also inked a Free Trade Agreement with the US. Colombia is a big recipient of US assistance and is a steadfast ally of Washington.