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Colombian Government

Following eight years of Uribe, the Supreme Court ruled that Uribe could not run for a third term, paving the way for his defense minister, Juan Manuel Santos, to take over the reigns. Santos is currently pursuing peace talks with the FARC in order to bring an end to the armed conflict.

Santos has pursued a somewhat more conciliatory approach than his predecessor, while still continuing aggressive military campaigns against the guerrillas. He has notably greatly improved relations with Venezuela and its iconoclastic president Hugo Chavez, who was long the arch-enemy of Uribe.

Corruption remains a pervasive problem in Colombia, but the situation is improving. Human rights advocates have also pointed to troubling problems with the military and the police, and cases of "false positives", where alleged guerrillas are later discovered to have been civilians.

However, while not perfect, Colombia is far from a dictatorial or authoritarian state. Dissent and protest are alive and well in Colombia, and Uribe and Santos are less than popular with many students and intellectuals. No better example of this can be seen than the 2011 student protests which shut down major Colombian cities for days at a time, and force Santos to withdraw his education reform bill.

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