Juan Manuel Santos gets another term as President of Colombia

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Juan Manuel Santos has been elected as President of Colombia for the second consecutive 4-year term.  

The Election

  • Santos, who heads a centre-right coalition, secured 51 percent of votes as against his rightwing opponent Oscar Ivan Zuluaga 45 percent.
  • The mandate is believed to be a support for his efforts to ink a peace deal with leftist FARC rebels.
  • The deal, if clinched, will put an end to a bloody 50-year old internal conflict with the notorious guerrila organization.

Points to Note

  • The conflict has claimed over 220,000 lives so far, mostly civilians inhibiting the far-flung rural regions. 
  • The FARC, notorious for running kidnappings and drug trafficking racket, has been declared as a terrorist organization by most of the west including US.
  • Santos is considered close to the Obama administration whose military assistance since 2000 has helped the country considerably to contain the influence of FARC and other illegal armed groups.
  • The US-backed campaign has broken the economic backbone of rebel organization by destructing cocaine trade - their largest source of revenue.

Some Facts

  • Capital and largest city: Bogota 
  • Area: 11,41,748 square km (26th largest in world) - Approx one-third of India
  • Population (January 2014 estimate): 4,74,25,437 (slightly larger than Odisha)
  • Colombia is the third largest economy of South America.
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