EspañolOn Thursday, August 7, Juan Manuel Santos was sworn in for his second term as president of Colombia. During his speech, he once again warned the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) that their peace talks could come to an end if they do not cease their attacks. “Members of the FARC: you have been warned!” said the president to a crowd of more than 2,000 guests, including foreign delegations from 73 countries.
The 62-year-old was reelected for a second term in June, and is now seeking “acts of peace” for the Colombian people, promising to focus his energy to achieve peace during his second term.
Santos now faces the challenge of growing expectations to reach a final agreement with the FARC, which has seen its numbers dwindled down to an estimated 7,500 active fighters. He will also need to negotiate a peace deal with the National Liberation Army (ELN), a smaller guerrilla of about 2,500 rebels. In addition, he must ensure these deals with the guerrilla have the support of the public.
Any agreement with the FARC must first go to a referendum and then to Congress for approval. Even though Santos won reelection on the promise of peace with the rebels, 45 percent of the public supported the opposing candidate and disapproved of the peace negotiation process.
Colombia en paz, con equidad y educada http://t.co/2XL4gxclSI
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) August 8, 2014
Uribe and his Democratic Center Party did not attend the Santos’s swearing-in ceremony. Uribe was voted into the Senate recently and has brought new life to the political opposition in Colombia, likely complicating the passage of any key reforms and peace-related deals.