BOGOTA, Colombia — Juan Manuel Santos has won re-election in Colombia’s tightest presidential contest in years, an endorsement of his 18-month-old peace talks to end the Western Hemisphere’s longest-running conflict.
Santos defeated right-wing challenger Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, leading with 53 percent to 47 percent of valid votes Sunday with 95 percent of precincts reporting.
Zuluaga was backed by former two-term President Alvaro Uribe, who many consider the true challenger.
Zuluaga had accused Santos of selling Colombia out in the Cuba-based negotiations and insisted he would halt them unless the rebels, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, ceased all hostilities.
The campaign was the Andean nation’s dirtiest in years and Zuluaga shocked the incumbent’s camp by outpolling Santos in a field of five candidates in the election’s first round on May 25.