“The first virtue of a soldier and a statesman is to be able to understand when it is necessary to make peace - that moment has arrived”. Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos made peace the cornerstone of the electoral manifesto he presented this week in a bid to regain the initiative ahead of his re-election bid on 25 May. While opinion polls suggest that Santos will win, after a second round, they also show that support for him has stag- nated and that ending the armed conflict is some way down the list of public priorities. On top of this, political and legal ping pong over the mayoralty of Bogotá is eroding the credibility of Colombia’s institutions and risks damaging Santos’s support; and his government has been unable to avert a strike by the agricultural sector, which began on 28 April.

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