In the first face-to-face debate following Sunday’s first round presidential elections, second round candidates Juan Manuel Santos and Antanas Mockus discussed fiscal policy and the extrajudicial execution of civilians, known as “false positives.”
In the debate Mockus defended his proposal to increase taxes, saying “keep calm, it’s not like I’m asking for a jump from 18% to 44% in taxation.”
The Green Party candidate’s opponent Santos stressed “I can sign on rock or marble if necessary that I will not increase tariffs during my government.” Following Sunday’s election, Santos said Mockus’ mistake was his proposal to raise taxes.
In regard to false positives, Mockus commented that Santos has a “certain responsibility” to remember that the scandal came to light while the “Uribista” was defense minister.
“Not one more false positive… I continue to think there was an incentive system, a certain hierarchical pressure, a certain environment, generals speaking in term of liters of blood,” the Green Party candidate said.
Although Mockus recognized that under Santos’ leadership the Defense Ministry had taken some measures to address the scandal, including dismissing 27 high ranking army official, he said that “there is a certain responsibility for not having realized and having taken corrective measures sooner.”
Santos responded by saying that he too wants “zero false positives” and accused Mockus of not playing fair by insinuating that as defense minister he didn’t want want to stop the executions.
The first voter poll held since Sunday’s elections indicates that Santos will win the second round presidential election on June 20 with 61% of the vote. Mockus is predicted to win 29.8% of voter support.