The Washington Post | 9/27/2010 12:00:00 AM
What President Juan Manuel Santos wants for Colombia
September 27--Colombia's new president, Juan Manuel Santos, surprised many by reaching out to Venezuela's Hugo Chávez after coming to office in August. He discusses the FARC, Venezuela and his country's future with The Post's Lally Weymouth.
Q. How will your presidency differ from that of your predecessor, President Álvaro Uribe?
A. When Uribe came into power, circumstances forced him to concentrate on security issues. He launched a very successful program called "democratic security" -- security for every Colombian within the law and the constitution. In the last eight years, this has transformed the country. I come into power with a different set of circumstances . . . [and have to] concentrate on social issues -- the fight against poverty and unemployment.
What do you plan to do to finish off the FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia]?
It is a concept we call "consolidation of the territory." We come into a certain territory with the armed forces, we clean up, then we come in with the presence of the state -- with teachers and doctors to get to a point where if the FARC wanted to come back, they would be rejected by the population. That has been working very well.
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