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After Colombia election win, Juan Manuel Santos seeks to build on Uribe era

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“I rely on teamwork,” he said.

But just a new approach won't be enough, says Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Council of the Americas.

“[Santos] is going to have to show that while he follows the general course that Uribe has set, he is not beholden to Uribe," he says.

Investigations into Uribe-era scandals

Though a proud heir to Uribe’s successes on the security and investment fronts, Santos inherits the burden of scandals that tarnished Uribe’s two terms as president.

Prosecutors are investigating more than 2,000 cases of extrajudicial executions by government forces accused of killing innocent civilians and presenting them as battlefield deaths, and the civilian intelligence agency known as DAS is under investigation for illegal wiretap and surveillance of opposition figures in a scandal that US human rights groups have labeled “worse than Watergate.”

“Santos is not going to be able to escape the scandals that marred Uribe’s rule,” says Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue think tank in Washington. “He’ll have to take them on and distance himself from them.”

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