The Washington Times | 6/22/2010 12:00:00 AM
Santos sweeps to the presidency
June 22--Platform for security, stability and development win big.
Mr. Santos, who served as defense minister in the Uribe administration and is credited as the key to Colombia's successful offensive against the communist narco-trafficking terror organization FARC, campaigned on a detailed platform that called for completing the struggle to establish a secure and stable society, with a strong drive in favor of economic development and against corruption among its main points.
With his defense record a virtual given, Mr. Santos and running mate Mr. Garzon placed particular emphasis on employment as a key benefit of economic growth, on the stump and in their advertising. Commercials stressed a "work, work, work" theme in response to the country's 12 percent unemployment and 32 percent underemployment.
Economists see Colombia - and most of South America - as recovering from the financial crisis of the past three years, with neighboring Venezuela the sole example of year-to-year decline. The new administration also will be helped by strong interest in Colombia from numerous international institutions, including the World Economic Forum, which held a seminar for world business leaders in Cartagena in April.
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