Colombia is voting in presidential elections to determine a successor to Alvaro Uribe. The president was one of the first people to go the polls. He is prevented from standing for a third term but both the two main candidates are promising to maintain his popular security measures.
Uribe’s war against drug-trafficking rebels has dominated his two terms in office and is credited with a five-fold rise in foreign investment
His former Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos is likely to benefit from Uribe’s policies and win most support in rural areas once battered by the country’s war.
But polls suggests he will not have a decisive victory over former Bogota Mayor Antanas Mockus in order to avoid a run-off next month.
Mockus has seen his popularity rise young and urban voters with a Green party campaign against corruption and what he calls “politics as usual.”
The seven other candidates are far behind. Some 400,000 troops and police have been deployed throughout the country to prevent attacks by leftist rebels, who often step up their activities around election time.