Los Angeles Times | 6/23/2010 12:00:00 AM
Santos' challenges in Colombia
June 23--The incoming president, who succeeds Alvaro Uribe, must transform himself from a military leader into a chief executive who can address a broad range of issues with diplomacy and finesse.
Santos' military's successes against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia included a daring operation in which rebels were duped into freeing high-profile hostages, and a cross-border raid into Ecuador in which the FARC's No. 2 was killed. But as he heads to the Casa de Narino, the presidential palace, his challenge will be to transform himself from a military leader devoted solely to combating rebels into a chief executive who will be called upon to address a far broader range of issues with diplomacy and finesse. Awaiting him is a multitude of nonmilitary concerns: desperate poverty, entrenched government corruption, unchecked human rights abuses and rampant drug trafficking. He also has diplomatic fence-mending to do with neighbors Ecuador and Venezuela.
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