Colombia's Santos reappoints defense minister to second term

by Reuters
Tuesday, 5 August 2014 17:56 GMT

BOGOTA, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón was reappointed to President Juan Manuel Santos's cabinet on Tuesday, a post that keeps him at the helm of the government's offensive against Marxist rebels as peace talks continue.

Santos, who was re-elected to a second term in June, made the announcement two days before he is to be sworn in again as president.

The government is negotiating an end to five decades of war with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which has killed more than 200,000 and displaced millions.

Santos has expressed anger at the rebels in recent days and indicated he could scrap the talks unless FARC stops attacks on the civilian population and on infrastructure, which can cause distress for the community.

Santos in the last few weeks reappointed Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas and Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguín to their posts. Juan Fernando Cristo was also named interior minister and Aurelio Iragorri will head the Agriculture Ministry. (Reporting by Helen Murphy, editing by G Crosse)

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