Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search

Latin America Blog

Santos hailed as regional leader, but approval falls at home in Colombia

Colombia's President Santos is riding high regionally, but a new poll suggests his domestic approval ratings have dropped, writes guest blogger James Bosworth.

By James BosworthGuest blogger / April 23, 2012

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos speaks during a Spain-Colombia forum at the Chamber of Commerce in Bogota April 19.

John Vizcaino/REUTERS


• A version of this post ran on the author's blog, The views expressed are the author's own.

Skip to next paragraph

Recent posts

Regionally, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is riding high. He certainly showed smart diplomacy during the Summit of the Americas. Numerous articles, including a cover story in Time Magazine, have praised his leadership and increased his regional profile.

A new poll out of Semana Magazine this weekend suggests that his domestic ratings have dropped. Some notes from the poll:

  • Santos's approval rating is 58 percent, down from 71 percent in July of last year.
  • Unemployment is his biggest weakness, with 42 percent of Colombians listing it as a top problem and only 30 percent saying that Santos has managed the issue of creating jobs well.
  • Security, however, is no longer a big strength to balance out the weak opinions on the economy. Only 49 percent of Colombians approve of how Santos is doing on security issues, a drop of 12 points in six months. 25 percent of Colombians list insecurity as their top concern.
  • 64 percent think the judicial system is corrupt or very corrupt. 59 percent believe political pressure influences judicial decisions.
  • Interestingly, President Uribe's approval rating has also dropped in Colombia. Only 56 percent view him positively and 33 percent view him negatively, worse numbers than he received than almost any point during his term. It's unclear whether the disapproval comes from a change in how Colombians view his time in office or annoyance at how he is handling his post-presidential role.
  • Asked about legalization of drugs, only 21 percent of Colombians approve while 69 percent disapprove. Santos may be taking a domestic political risk by promoting the debate.

– James Bosworth is a freelance writer and consultant who runs Bloggings by Boz.

Get daily or weekly updates from delivered to your inbox. Sign up today.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of Latin America bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here.


Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer


Editors' picks

Doing Good


What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!