In a letter, former Defense Minister Marta Lucia Ramirez told Santos he must “define if your priority is reelection or the culmination of a peace process that will guarantee truth to the nation, justice reparation and full guarantees against repetition.”
Ramirez, who has aligned herself with ex-president and prevalent critic of Santos and the peace process Alvaro Uribe, offered two options to the current head of state.
In the first, Ramirez suggests that the president’s campaign to get reelected will see him “continue in an agenda of infinite themes and trips which contribute little to finalizing the conflict” naming Colombia’s recent high profile exchange with NATO and the president’s trip to Israel as examples of actions that “generate more questions and confusion.”
The second option which is presented to the president in the letter is “history.” According to Ramirez, if the head of state decides against a reelection campaign, “you [he] will be able to show the FARC and all other illegal groups who threaten the safety and peace of Colombia that they will never defeat the institutions or the people that you [he] swore to defend.”
Ramirez also warned against the FARC’s supposed slowing down of the peace process. “They will make the process as long as is convenient to them, until they can accelerate it when you no longer have margin for maneuver. They only represent themselves but on the other hand you represent all Colombians” she said, proposing that were her potential rival to decide against running for President in 2014, he could impose a deadline to the rebel group, that peace must be achieved before the end of his mandate.
Colombia will take to the polls for a congressional election in March next year and is set for a presidential election two months later.