Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos‘ urban approval rating has risen slightly, from 52% in June to 54% over the past week, said pollster Gallup Thursday.
The slight improvent in the poll came in the same week the president announced his administration has begun talks with the country’s largest guerrilla group, the FARC, over a negotiated end to the country’s armed conflict.
The landmark announcement had a minor effect on the respondents’ approval of how Santos was dealing with the rebels; 66% disapproved of the president’s approach to the rebels against 69% two months ago.
According to 70% of the urban dwellers said that Colombia’s military has the ability to defeat the guerrillas. 27% opined the opposite.
Santos’ televised speech in which he announced “exploratory talks” with the FARC was broadcast Monday, exactly halfway the five-day period during which the poll was taken and after a month of increased rebel attacks.
The president’s approval rating plummeted earlier in the year after a government proposal to reform the country’s clogged justice system was altered by Congress to a bill that would favor lawmakers in legal trouble.
The Gallup polls are held among 1,200 people in Colombia’s five largest cities.