Santos’s years have been marked by social progress: huge spending on poor districts in the former narco-bastion of Medellín and legislation for the restitution of land to those who were expelled from it by paramilitaries and Farc. “Colombia is a fairly rich nation and yet it still has one third of citizens living in poverty and four million of them in extreme poverty. This is completely unacceptable,” said Rodríguez. “But we have taken 2.5 million Colombians out of poverty and 1.3 million from extreme poverty – something no government has ever done in Colombia. We have operated a social democracy, in place of the military economy that an Uribe-run government would bring back. We are trying to grow for the general prosperity, they want prosperity for just a few business people in their entourage.”
And the pre-election result plea was heeded as Santos gained re-election.