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| 6/21/2010 12:00:00 AM

Colombia: Santos Wins Presidency, Set To Keep Uribe's Policies

June 21--Colombia elected Juan Manuel Santos, the scion of one of the country's most powerful families, to succeed outgoing President Alvaro Uribe, who is stepping down after a successful eight-year rule marked by his iron-fisted military offensive against cocaine-financed Marxist insurgents.

Santos scored a landslide win Sunday over Antanas Mockus, a former mayor of Bogota. As Uribe's chosen heir, Santos staked his campaign on continuing the tough-security policies that have made Colombia a safer country in recent years.

Santos won nearly 69% of the votes while Mockus secured 27.6%, with 95% of the votes counted.

Mockus, a former university dean who once mooned on-camera a group of riotous students, emerged as fierce rival by pledging to fight government graft. His platform of continuing Uribe's policies while fighting corruption clinched him enough votes in a first-round vote last month to force a run-off.

On Sunday, many Colombians decided to stay home and watch the World Cup soccer matches instead of going to vote. With a commanding 25-point lead after the first vote, Colombians seemed confident that Santos's victory was sealed. Turnout was much lower than in the first-round vote, officials said.

Santos based his campaign on continuing Uribe's successful security and economic policies. Santos, educated at Harvard and the London School of Economics, served as Uribe's defense minister.

Under his watch, security forces decimated the leadership of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, a drug-financed guerrilla group labeled as a terrorist organization by the European Union and the U.S.
 
Read more here.
 
Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.
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EDICIÓN 1829

PORTADA

Gran encuesta presidencial

Vargas Lleras arranca fuerte, Petro está estancado, Fajardo tiene cómo crecer y los partidos tradicionales andan rezagados. Entre los uribistas, Ramos se ve fuerte. Y Santos tiene 35 por ciento de aceptación. Gran encuesta de Invamer para Caracol Televisión, Blu Radio y SEMANA.