BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombia beat Greece 3-0 in its first World Cup Soccer Match, but the biggest contest for the Colombian people ended as Juan Manuel Santos survived a run-off election against Oscar Iván Zuluaga to remain president for four more years.
Santos won approximately 51 percent of the vote while Zuluaga came in second place with about 45 percent. The “third candidate,” an option to vote for “no one,” drew slightly more than 4 percent.
These elections were framed by economic development, social inclusion, international relations, the military’s role in society and the choice between war and peace.
Santos’s reelection bodes well for the peace process. Peace negotiations have been underway with the FARC in Havana, Cuba since 2012 and active negotiations with the National Liberation Army (ELN) were announced just five days before the election. While nearly every political party and politician uses the internal armed conflict as political fodder, this is the first time a negotiated peace seems possible, finally placing the emphasis on victims’ rights.
However, two additional issues are sticking points: amnesty for crimes such as massacres, kidnapping, drug trafficking and acts of terrorism and the legitimate participation of former guerrillas in the Colombian political system.
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