Sunday, June 20, 2010

Santos is 'El Man.'

So it's Santos, as we all knew and expected, altho not by quite this margin. Such an overwhelming margin makes it a bit scary.

In his acceptance speech, which I'm listening to now, he sounds a lot like Uribe - squared.

We hear a lot about 'work, work, work.' And about how the judicial branch, which was about the only branch of government that stood up to Uribe. Does that mean 'impartiality,' or 'You better do what I want!'?

In his acceptance speech, a candidate who has just won by such an overwhelming margin, one might expect, perhaps, humility, empathy, flexibility. In his hour of victory, he might throw a bone to the guerrillas, whose backs are already against the wall, and make some offer of peace talks. He might also address his most glaring weakness - the terrible human rights violations which occurred under his watch, particularly the 'False Positives' scandal. But I'm not hearing any of that.

Even so, another four years of Uribismo might be good for Colombia, if the guerrillas are finally defeated - although that's not likely. But Santos can afford to mention his mistakes and aim to atone for them. If not, Colombians might just get fed up with more Uribismo pretty quickly.

Still, one thing is clear: many (altho not necessarily most) Colombians support Santos (abstention was way over 50 %) and they don't want Mockus, whose second-round voting was little above his first. Mockus didn't even win in Bogotá, where he was mayor and had lots of support. Santos also represents the establishment - he's related to the current vice president and belongs to the family which owns the El Tiempo newspaper.

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