Low turnout expected in Colombian elections
Presidential elections are set to take place in Colombia this Sunday. Former Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos is set defeat incumbent President Álvaro Uribe.
Many expect voter turnout to be low, in part because of the World Cup. Many also feel the election is already decided and see no reason to vote. It is expected that about 60% of Colombians will not show up at the polls.
Santos has been accused of having links to election contractors, violating human rights and of being involved in the killing of civilians by the Colombian army.
Santos is expected to be a very right wing president and will likely win easily. In addition, Santos is the preferred candidate of the United States and the Obama administration. Santos supports US military expansion in South America, including placing bases in Colombia to fight terrorism and the US War on Drugs.
“The American administration, Mr. Obama and his advisors at the State Department are very happy with Mr. Santos as president because these military bases are very important for the defense of the United States. They are bases that can be used to support any operation that they need in Latin America,” said Ramon Jimeno, an author and filmmaker in Colombia.
Jimeno also explained that the US presence would serve as a strategic position in relation to Venezuela, both politically and in relation to the drug trade.