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Montevideo, September 19th 2018 - 03:32 UTC

Colombian business community openly sides with Santos and the peace talks

Saturday, June 14th 2014 - 09:39 UTC
Full article 15 comments
Billionaire Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo spoke up in favor of ongoing peace negotiations with the FARC Billionaire Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo spoke up in favor of ongoing peace negotiations with the FARC
“We’ve considered Oscar Iván Zuluaga’s proposals but we believe that Santos is the best choice for Colombians” “We’ve considered Oscar Iván Zuluaga’s proposals but we believe that Santos is the best choice for Colombians”

President Juan Manuel Santos’ re-election bid received the backing of a large group of Colombia’s most important businessmen and the country’s wealthiest man, billionaire Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo, who spoke up in favor of ongoing peace negotiations with the FARC.

 Financial mogul Nicanor Restrepo Santamaría, the former head of Bancolombia Jorge Londoño and prominent architect Pedro Gómez were among the two dozen businessmen that signed the open letter in support of Santos.

The businessmen praised the president’s economic policies. “Your government is responsible for unprecedented economic results, including a rise in employment, a rise in foreign investment and excellent international relations,” the letter said.

“We’ve considered Oscar Iván Zuluaga’s proposals but we believe that Santos is the best choice for Colombians,” it added.

The president and right-wing opposition candidate Zuluaga are neck-and-neck in competition ahead of Sunday’s runoff vote, with polls split over who will win.

Zuluaga, who is backed by former president and strongman Álvaro Uribe, took more votes in the May 25 first round but Santos’ alliance with leftist candidate Clara López and the announcement of exploratory talks with the ELN (the country’s second-largest rebel group) could tilt the balance in his favor.

The runoff has been turned into a referendum on the peace process with the FARC, with Santos saying the talks will collapse if he is not re-elected.

Zuluaga, who had said he would suspend the negotiations if he got to the presidency, has rolled back on his promise and now says he will allow them to continue under tougher conditions.

Banker Sarmiento Angulo said that Colombia “needs to put an end” to five decades of bloody conflict. “I back the peace process, I like the peace process,” he said.

The billionaire also referred to eventual negotiations with the ELN and said it would be “excellent news” for Colombia. “Imagine that the government reaches a deal with the FARC and then starts a new peace process, I think that is excellent,” he said.

Polls show that Santos has more support in Colombia’s war zones while Zuluaga has more backing in cities and pacified areas.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

Top Comments

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  • ilsen

    I'm hoping Santos wins, and continues to stand-up to the Chavista scum across the border and their insiduous lies.
    Relations between Colombia and Venezuela where at their height in 2010, after Santos was elected president. But the relationship soured last year after Santos met with Capriles a month after Maduro won the still disputedVenezuelan presidential election.
    Maduro reacted by accusing both Santos and Capriles of engaging in a conspiracy “against the highest powers of state” to overthrow and kill him.
    There is still no evidence of this a year later. Maduro says he has it but we are yet to see it.
    “EL UNIVERSAL
    Friday May 31, 2013 08:11 AM
    Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro late on Thursday said his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos ”has stabbed Venezuela.“ Reference was made to the meeting in Bogotá between Santos and former opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles.
    ”As we work for peace here in Venezuela, we cannot accept plots in Bogotá,“ Maduro said in an event in central Carabobo state.
    ”I question the candor of President Santos, as he has stabbed Venezuela in the back and is willing to endorse a plot against Venezuela. I say this with pain,” Maduro said in an act broadcast by state-run television channel Venezolana de Televisión (VTV).
    “I have doubts whether to continue to play a role in the peace process in Colombia or not,” he said. Further, he made serious accusations about an alleged conspiracy intended to murder him. “Álvaro Uribe, Roger Noriega and J.J. Rendón are behind a plan of psychological warfare,” he reported.
    “There is a group of experts who have a poison. They are prepared to come to Venezuela to inoculate me with poison, not for me to die in a day, but for me to get sick in the months to come. Should I remain quiet? I have to report on this and face it,” he said.”

    What a load of utter, paranoid bullshit.

    Jun 14th, 2014 - 04:35 pm 0
  • Stevie

    “But the relationship soured last year after Santos met with Capriles a month after Maduro won the still disputedVenezuelan presidential election.”

    Ilsen the disputor.

    :)

    Jun 14th, 2014 - 04:38 pm 0
  • ilsen

    Yup. Just little old me, Leopoldo Lopez, Maria Corina Machado, many external observers, oh, and several million Venezuelans.

    But what the hell. I am happy to take the credit for bringing it to your attention.
    :-)

    Jun 14th, 2014 - 05:09 pm 0
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