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Colombia leader back in office after cancer surgery

10 october 2012, 10:22
0
Colombia's Juan Manuel Santos resumed his duties as president Monday, a week after he underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his prostate, AFP reports citing his office.

Santos, 61, signed 34 decrees, met with his colleagues and telephoned his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez to congratulate him on his re-election in Sunday's vote.

The president also appointed three new deputy ministers.

Santos announced on October 1 that he had prostate cancer. He said the tumor was small and had been caught in time, giving him a 97 percent chance of full recovery.

He chose not to delegate his powers as head of state since the surgery was performed using a local anesthetic.

Doctors have advised him against traveling for a few weeks after the operation, but Santos said that otherwise his overall health is not in jeopardy.

Santos is the latest in a long line of Latin American leaders to undergo cancer treatment in recent years.

In Brazil, Dilma Rousseff and her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva both received treatment. So did Paraguay's former president Fernando Lugo and Venezuela's Chavez.

Argentina's Cristina Kirchner announced late last year that she had thyroid cancer and underwent surgery before later disclosing that she had been misdiagnosed.

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