Presidential Debate in Colombia Centers on FARC Peace Talks

EspañolOn Monday, the Colombian presidential candidates, President Juan Manuel Santos and opposition candidate of the Democratic Center (CD) Party Óscar Iván Zuluaga, held a televised public debate. Much of the debate was focused on the recent agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and their time as ministers during Álvaro Uribe’s administration (2002-2010).

During the debate, Santos forced Zuluaga to acknowledge the internal armed conflict taking place in Colombia, but the CD candidate emphasized the need to impose more conditions on the guerrilla to ensure “peace without impunity.” Zuluaga then accused Santos of betraying the ideas he held during his years as minister and vice president in Álvaro Uribe’s administration. “You were elected proposing one set of ideas, and now you are governing with a different one,” said the former Treasury minister.

If being a traitor is to change the culture of fear for a culture of hope, change the culture of anything goes and the illegal wiretapping for respect for institutions, then I do not mind being called a traitor,” Santos said.

Analysts expect one of the closest presidential elections in decades, with recent polls predicting a technical tie. There was also a high level of abstention in the first round of elections. Elements of the Colombian radical-left have been promoting the slogan #NiSantosNiZuluaga, encouraging voters to cast a blank vote or to abstain from voting altogether.

Source: BBC Mundo.

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