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Colombia voters give lukewarm support for peace process

Colombian voters showed lukewarm support for peace talks with guerrillas Sunday by giving the country's president a majority in Congress, but also electing his conservative rival, ex-president Alvaro Uribe, to the senate. President Juan Manuel Santos, who took office in 2010 after serving as the popular Uribe's defense minister, is engaged in talks with Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels aimed at ending their half-century insurgency.

Colombia voters give lukewarm support for peace process

Columbian voters showed lukewarm support for peace talks with guerrillas Sunday by giving the country's president a majority in Congress, but also electing his conservative rival, ex-president Alvaro Uribe, to the senate. President Juan Manuel Santos, who took office in 2010 after serving as the popular Uribe's defense minister, is engaged in talks with Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels aimed at ending their half-century insurgency.

Colombia vote seen as referendum on rebel peace talks

Colombians head to the polls Sunday to elect new legislators in a vote seen as a referendum on peace talks with leftist guerrillas and a bellwether for May's presidential election. Peace talks that President Jose Manuel Santos has held with the Marxist rebels have dominated political life in Colombia since they opened in late 2012 in Cuba. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Latin America's oldest insurgency, have been at war with the Colombian state for 50 years.

Colombia's outgoing-V.P. declines ambassadorship

Bogota, Feb 25 (EFE).- Vice President Angelino Garzon on Tuesday declined an offer to become Colombia's ambassador to Brazil when his term ends later this year. Garzon, who announced months ago that he would not seek another term, turned down the ambassadorship a day after President Juan Manuel Santos named a running mate for his re-election bid.

Colombia's outgoing-V.P. declines ambassadorship

Bogota, Feb 25 (EFE).- Vice President Angelino Garzon on Tuesday declined an offer to become Colombia's ambassador to Brazil when his term ends later this year. Garzon, who announced months ago that he would not seek another term, turned down the ambassadorship a day after President Juan Manuel Santos named a running mate for his re-election bid.

Colombia's Santos taps former Cabinet minister as running mate

Bogota, Feb 24 (EFE).- Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Monday named former Cabinet member German Vargas Lleras as his running mate in his bid for a second four-year term. Santos made the announcement with Vargas Lleras at his side during a speech to the Good Government Foundation in Bogota. The 52-year-old lawyer is the grandson of President Carlos Lleras Restrepo and served successively as interior minister and housing minister in the Santos administration.

Colombia's Santos says thousands of his emails hacked

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos confirmed Sunday that more than a thousand of his personal emails had been hacked, saying unknown parties were trying to slander him as he seeks another term. The El Tiempo daily reported Saturday several of the accessed emails were related to the possible, but never completed, purchase of some works of art. Others were said to deal with school tuition payments for his daughter, Maria Antonia. In response to the hacking, the government has taken additional electronic security measures.

Shake-up of top Colombia military brass after scandals

Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos Tuesday announced a shake-up in military leadership two days after a magazine exposed corruption among high level officials. "I considered it appropriate and necessary to make a change at the head of the army," Santos declared solemnly in a speech aired on television. Colombia's army has been in turmoil since weekly magazine Semana published revelations of senior officers getting kickbacks for certain military contracts. Top officers were also accused of trying to block judicial probes into abuses committed by soldiers.

Irregularities found in Colombian military contracts

Colombia's defense minister acknowledged Monday "administrative deficiencies" have been found in army aviation contracts following a magazine's expose of corruption in the military. President Juan Manuel Santos on Sunday ordered an investigation into the disclosures by Semana, a Colombian newsweekly. Semana's expose was based on hundreds of hours of tape recordings in which senior officers are heard discussing kickbacks they received for certain military contracts.

Colombia president orders inquiry into army kickback allegations

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos on Sunday ordered a judicial investigation into allegations senior army officers received huge kickbacks on military procurement contracts. Weekly news magazine Semana which made the revelations says it has hundreds of hours of audio recordings proving the existence of an "astonishing corruption network" in which officers received up to 50 percent of the value of contracts.
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