Colombia President Santos’ Popularity Slumps Amid Scandal

The proportion of Colombians with a favorable image of President Juan Manuel Santos slumped to 48 percent in June from 64 percent in April, according to a poll by Gallup Colombia published on Caracol Radio’s website today.

The survey was conducted between June 21 and 27 amid a scandal that caused Justice Minister Juan Carlos Esguerra to resign after lawmakers amended legislation reforming the justice system in a way which could have paralyzed investigations into politicians with links to illegal armed groups. Congress today voted to drop the reform.

Gallup interviewed 1,200 citizens in Colombia’s five biggest cities by telephone. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, Caracol said.

Dozens of lawmakers, including the cousin of former President Alvaro Uribe, have been removed from office or jailed in recent years for allegedly conspiring with illegal paramilitary groups, which funded their war on the country’s Marxist rebels by cocaine trafficking and extortion.

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