June 1, 2014
By Andrés Cala

Exclusive on Consortiumnews.com: Colombia’s future may be decided by the June 15 runoff election between a far-right candidate who favors a renewal of counterinsurgency war and the incumbent president who has staked his political career on a negotiated outcome, as Andrés Cala explains.

The outcome of Colombia’s May 25 presidential elections paints a grim picture. The 40 percent of voters who bothered to turn out is almost equally split between those who oppose and support peace talks. The rest of the electorate appears so disenchanted with politicians that they didn’t cast a vote.

A runoff vote on June 15 will pit the first round victor, the extreme-right candidate Óscar Iván Zuluaga, and the surprise loser and incumbent center-right President Juan Manuel Santos. So, it boils down to a matchup between the extreme-right and the center-right with the only substantive issue that is being debated: whether to negotiate a comprehensive peace and implement accompanying structural reforms to address Colombia’s chronic inequality. In practice, the runoff becomes a referendum on war or peace.

Read the full article here.