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Colombia presidential race marred by scandal as cynicism with polarized politics grows

  • Colombia Election-1.jpg

    FILE - In this May 17, 2014 file photo, campaign posters promoting Democratic Center Party presidential candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, pictured with former President Alvaro Uribe, right, blanket a wall in Villeta, Colombia. Accusations of bribes from drug traffickers, spying and email hacking have turned Colombia’s presidential election into an ugly slugfest that has further polarized a country trying to emerge from its violent past. Much of the blame for the dirty campaigning falls on two former allies whose public feuding has divided Colombia the past four years: President Juan Manuel Santos and his still powerful predecessor, Alvaro Uribe. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara) (The Associated Press)

  • Colombia Election-2.jpg

    FILE - In this May 12, 2014 file photo, Colombia's President and Social Party of National Unity presidential candidate, Juan Manuel Santos speaks during a campaign event in Soacha on the outskirts of Bogota, Colombia. Accusations of bribes from drug traffickers, spying and email hacking have turned Colombia’s presidential election into an ugly slugfest. The mudslinging has distracted attention from the talks with Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia to end the country’s half-century internal conflict, which had been expected to be a key issue going into the Sunday, May 25th election. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara, File) (The Associated Press)

  • Colombia Election-3.jpg

    FILE - In this May 17, 2014 file photo, a boy holds a balloon during a campaign event for Colombia's President and Social Party of National Unity presidential candidate, Juan Manuel Santos, in Bogota, Colombia. Accusations of bribes from drug traffickers, spying and email hacking have turned Colombia’s presidential election into an ugly slugfest that has further polarized a country trying to emerge from its violent past. (AP Photo/Javier Galeano, File) (The Associated Press)

  • Colombia Election-4.jpg

    FILE - in this May 17, 2014 file photo, Colombia's President and Social Party of National Unity presidential candidate, Juan Manuel Santos waves upon his arrival to a campaign event in Bogota, Colombia. Despite presiding over what may be South America’s best-performing economy, Santos is struggling amid relentless attacks by his predecessor, Alvaro Uribe and his hand-picked heir, former finance chief Oscar Ivan Zuluaga. Polls say the two are running neck and neck, well ahead of three other candidates but neither likely to garner the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff. (AP Photo/Javier Galeano, File) (The Associated Press)

Colombia's presidential election has turned into an ugly slugfest featuring accusations of bribes from drug traffickers, spying and email hacking.

That's distracting attention from peace talks with the country's main rebel group, which had been expected to be a key issue going into Sunday's election.

Much of the public feuding is between President Juan Manuel Santos and his still-powerful predecessor, Alvaro Uribe, who opposes the peace talks.

Santos has been attacked relentlessly by Uribe and his hand-picked heir, Oscar Ivan Zuluaga. Polls say the two are running neck and neck, well ahead of three other candidates for Sunday's vote, but with neither likely to garner the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff.