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Colombian President Santos Recovering After Cancer Surgery

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has been recovering at a hospital in capital Bogota after undergoing a successful surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his prostate, medical officials said on Wednesday.

"It was a successful surgery, without complications. The President is conscious in his room with his family and is recovering," doctors at the Fundacion Santa Fe hospital in northern Bogota told reporters.

Doctors said the surgery required only local anesthetics, and stressed that the President would not need chemo or radiation therapy. He would be discharged from hospital either on Friday or Saturday.

Santos surprised the nation on Monday when he disclosed that he was diagnosed with prostrate cancer and plans to undergo a surgery to remove the tumor on Wednesday. In a nationally televised address, he said the tumor was minor and non-aggressive, noting that its early detection had given him a 97 percent chance of full recovery.

Santos, 61, said the cancer was first detected by his doctor in Colombia and the diagnosis was confirmed during his trip to New York last week for attending the U.N. General Assembly. Notably, Santos did not delegate any of his presidential responsibilities as he was informed earlier that the surgery would be performed under local anesthetics.

Santos is the latest among several Latin American leaders to be treated for cancer. His Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, former Paraguayan leader Fernando Lugo as well as former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his successor Dilma Rousseff have all undergone cancer treatment in the past year.

Santos' cancer surgery came amid preparations by his government to begin peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, in the Norwegian capital Oslo later this month.

FARC has been fighting the Colombian government for almost five decades, seeking to impose a Leftist regime in the country, which they believe would redistribute land more equitably among its impoverished population.

His decision to resume peace talks with FARC signals a notable policy shift from that of previous Colombian governments, which had steadfastly refused to engage in negotiations with the Leftist rebels.

Notably, Santos' predecessor Alvaro Uribe, who completed his term in office last August, had enforced strict security measures against the outlaws because of their continued attacks on military and civilian targets.

In an effort to show its commitment to peace talks with the government, FARC recently released the last remaining ten security personnel it had been holding hostage for years, and pledged to abandon kidnappings for money. But the rebel group is still said to be holding hundreds of civilian hostages.

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