Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Rwandan singer amongst terror plot suspects

Read more

DEBATE

What's Putin's Plan? Kiev Accuses Russia of Terrorism

Read more

FOCUS

Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: Online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

ENCORE!

Art, sex, money, memory and manga

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Spat over Iran's UN ambassador hampers thawing relations with US

Read more

FOCUS

China trade deal: Is Taiwan's identity under threat?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Call it a caretaker government'

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles

Read more

  • Frantic search for South Korea ferry passengers continues

    Read more

  • Kiev powerless as pro-Russia activists seize armoured vehicles

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • Algeria heads to the polls: ‘this election has nothing to do with us’

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in eastern Congo

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

  • Iraq closes notorious Abu Ghraib jail over security fears

    Read more

  • In ‘Tom at the Farm’, Xavier Dolan blends Hitchcock and homoeroticism

    Read more

Americas

Colombian president to undergo surgery for prostate cancer

©

Latest update : 2012-10-02

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said on Monday that he will undergo surgery to remove a non-aggressive tumour in his prostate after it was found during a routine checkup. Santos, 61, said he has “a 97 percent chance of being totally cured”.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said on Monday he would undergo surgery for a non-aggressive prostate cancer in a health scare that seemed unlikely to derail his government’s imminent talks with Marxist rebels to end decades of war.

Santos, 61, said the tumor was discovered as part of a routine checkup and will be removed on Wednesday.

“It’s a small tumor located on the prostate gland and it’s a good prognosis. It’s not aggressive,” he said at the presidential palace in Bogota, flanked by his doctor and his wife. “There’s a 97 percent chance of being totally cured.”

The Harvard-educated economist, who took office two years ago, is about to embark on negotiations in coming weeks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), whose insurgency has led to the deaths of tens of thousands in half a century.

A successful end to the peace negotiations would help secure Santos a place in history and allow him to further build on the economic and security advances that began under President Alvaro Uribe a decade ago.

Colombia, a nation of about 46 million, has attracted record foreign direct investment over the last few years as a U.S.-backed military offensive against drug traffickers and FARC rebels improved business confidence.

Santos, who as Uribe’s defense minister dealt some of the harshest blows against the FARC, said he would not be handing over presidential duties.

The cancer was detected “very much in time” and his doctor expected the president to be able to make a quick recovery, Santos said. The surgery will be conducted with a local anesthetic at a hospital in Bogota.

“I am going to stay in the clinic a few days. I will be subject to a few physical limitations, but I will continue exercising my functions as president of the Republic,” he said.

Latest Latin American leader afflicted

Santos, who has three children, joins several other Latin American leaders who have fought cancer in recent years.

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, who seeks re-election on Sunday, has had three operations for tumors since mid-2011.

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was successfully treated for a throat tumor earlier this year and his successor, President Vilma Rousseff, was treated for lymphoma cancer in 2009 but has been given a clean bill of health by her doctors.

Paraguay’s former President Fernando Lugo also beat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011 after four months of chemotherapy treatment.

A flood of messages appeared on Twitter offering support for Santos, including best wishes from ally-turned-foe Uribe, opposition lawmakers and government officials.

“My solidarity and support to the President and his family,” said Vice President Angelino Garzon, who also was hospitalized recently. “The country, now more than ever, needs him.”

The peace talks helped lift Santos’ approval ratings at a time when he was being slammed by critics, like former boss Uribe, who said security had deteriorated considerably, raising the possibility he would be unable to seek a second term.

Negotiations with the FARC, which will take place in Norway and Cuba, have raised Colombians’ hopes of an end to the war.

Santos, who appeared alongside his soldier son earlier on Monday at a military event, seemed in good spirits and said that he had sought medical advice last week during a meeting of the United Nations in New York.

He left for Peru after the cancer announcement to attend a meeting of Latin American and Arab heads of state and will return to Bogota on Tuesday, a presidential spokesman said.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2012-10-02

  • COLOMBIA

    Colombian president rejects FARC cease-fire proposal

    Read more

  • DIPLOMACY-NORWAY

    Are Norwegians better peace negotiators?

    Read more

  • COLOMBIA

    Colombia confirms October peace talks with FARC

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)