Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has travelled to the United States for medical exams after follow-up tests for a 2012 case of prostate cancer came back abnormal, he said. Santos, this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner for his efforts to reach a peace deal with Marxist rebels, announced the trip in a brief statement as he left a clinic in Bogota where he has undergone regular check-ups since having surgery to remove a small prostate tumor four years ago.
This news comes as a surprise to my family and me. I remain confident that the result of these new tests will be positive, he said. ”I will travel tomorrow (Wednesday) to the United States, the exam will be Thursday and I will be back Friday.”
The health scare comes as Santos is struggling on multiple fronts to end a half-century conflict in Colombia that has claimed more than 260,000 lives.
His government is negotiating with both the opposition and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to save a peace deal that voters rejected in a referendum last month.
Santos's opponents argued the historic deal was too soft on the guerrillas. The government is also seeking to revive planned talks with a smaller rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN) that fizzled before they began.