Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos made it to an annual list of 100 “Leading Global Thinkers” that is annually compiled by US political magazine Foreign Policy (FP).
Santos is not the only Latin American leader who made it to the magazine’s ranking of influential world leaders; The Colombian head of state is accompanied by Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff, Mexico’s Enrique Peña and Uruguay’s Jose Mujica.
Santos, Foreign Policy said, stands out on the world stage “for risking everything to end his country’s civil war” through ongoing peace talks with the country’s largest guerrilla group, the FARC.
According to FP, Santos will “almost certainly lose his reelection bid” if the talks fail before the 2014 presidential election are held in May.
“Still, Santos has pushed ahead with negotiations, and he has even hinted that his government could begin talks with Colombia’s second-largest guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army” (ELN), said the magazine.
FP noted that “resistance to Santos’s peace offensive is growing” and that “the remaining issues on the negotiation docket—including disarmament and compensation for victims of violence—are thorny, and many Colombians remain skeptical that talks will bear fruit.”
The Colombian president took office in August 2010 after having spent years being a hard-liner in the government of his predecessor, former President Alvaro Uribe. Following his election, Santos’ focused on “unity” and announced peace talks with the FARC halfway his term.
Amid numerous accusations the president failed to honor agreement made with workers in a broad range of sectors, massive anti-government protest surged throughout in August and Santos’ approval rating dropped to the lowest point in his career.
The president last month announced he was seeking to be reelected and continue efforts seeking a negotiated end to the armed conflict that has killed 220,000 Colombians.
- Juan Manuel Santos (Foreign Policy)