FARC guerrillas initiate public relations war ahead of peace talks

Colombia’s FARC guerrillas yesterday released a video of combatants rapping about forthcoming bilateral peace talks with the government, the details of which President Juan Manuel Santos will confirm at 12.30 today in a special address to the nation.

The process will be long and arduous and the outcome is unknown, but this is the best chance for peace in the history of the near 50 year conflict.

If peace is the end game, this video, which attempts to present a humorous side to the brutal reality of this terrorist group, is the start of a fierce public relations war in which the battle is for the hearts and minds of the 46 million Colombians that make up this Andean nation.

A music video circulated yesterday in which FARC foot-soldiers appear in combat gear and t-shirts marked with the face of the Argentine revolutionary Che Guevarra singing along to a five minute parody of the peace talks scheduled to take place in October.

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Juan Manuel Santos – a tale of two presidents

This is my piece published today on Colombia Reports to mark the second anniversary of the start of Juan Manuel Santos’ presidency.

Juan Manuel Santos - a tale of two presidents by Kevin Howlett from Colombia-Politics.comColombian President Juan Manuel Santos appears to be loved abroad but is dangerously close to becoming loathed at home.We are halfway through the four-year mandate and the president’s support is plummeting at an alarming rate. Approval ratings stood at 87% less than a year ago while they now hover below the 50% mark.
The international community thinks so highly of Santos — the shuttle-diplomacy president — that there is talk of his becoming the next U.N. Secretary General.
The contrast at home could not be starker however, with a poll by El Tiempo newspaper this weekend revealing that over 60% of Colombians would not again vote for Santos.
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