Colombians vote Sunday in a presidential election characterized by a clash of personalities and relentless mudslinging that have overshadowed differences on how to put an end to a half-century of guerrilla violence.
Polls indicate that the incumbent, 62-year-old Juan Manuel Santos, is running neck and neck with Oscar Zuluaga, 54, a conservative economist backed by the influential former President Alvaro Uribe.
Santos supports negotiations with FARC fighters, while Zuluaga favours a return to the military approach used by Uribe prior to 2010.
Authorities have mobilised more than 167,000 members of the security forces and volunteers in preparation for Sunday\’s vote.
Santos and Zuluaga have similar platforms on economic issues, backing private-sector investment, as opposed to neighbouring countries such as Venezuela and Ecuador who favour state involvement in the market and wealth redistribution.
More than 215,000 people have been killed and 5.7 million left internally displaced in political violence since 1968.