AFP Exclusive: Colombia’s Santos on making and keeping peace

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos listening to US President Barack Obama after a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House December 3, 2013Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, campaigning for a second term, is basing his bid on his confidence he will conclude a peace deal to end Latin America’s oldest leftist insurgency. Perhaps fittingly, the first round presidential vote, set for May 25, comes just two days before the 50th anniversary of the uprising by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. But the president admitted that, even with a peace deal, the hardest work will still remain: preventing the former rebels from “transforming themselves into a new criminal structure,” by creating an “efficient reintegration program”. Halfway through his first term, in late 2012, the center-right leader, who as defense minister inflicted on the FARC some of its worst military losses, announced the opening of peace talks with the rebel group.