Colombian President-elect Juan Manuel Santos dodged questions on his nation’s current crisis with Venezuela during a press conference, following his meeting with Chilean President Sebastian Piñera in Santiago.
Santos instead chose to name his new education minister and other high ranking appointments, while stressing the importance for the region to “collaborate on issues of education and combating security problems.”
The president-elect also spoke of Colombia’s “inefficient” defense of state interests and claims against the state, in comparison to Chile, who Santos said “has a special council (the State Defense Council) that works very well,” and should be an example for Colombia “to establish a similar system.”
In early July, liberated FARC hostage Ingrid Betancourt is seeking $6.6 million in damages from the Colombian government as compensation for her six years as a prisoner of the guerrilla organization.
Santos on Sunday dined privately with Piñera and other high ranking members of the Chilean Government, and on Monday had lunch with Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno.
On Monday afternoon the incoming Colombian leader flew to the Argentinean capital, Buenos Aires, to hold meetings with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez and her husband Nestor Kirchner, who is secretary general of the Union of South American Nations.
Venezuela broke all relations with Colombia last Thursday, after Colombia’s ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Alfonso Hoyos, presented evidence to the international body of the presence of 87 guerrilla camps in Venezuelan territory.