Juan Manuel Santos

Juan Manuel Santos
His Excellency
Juan Manuel Santos Calderón
59th President of Colombia
Assumed office
7 August 2010
Vice President Angelino Garzón
Preceded by Álvaro Uribe
Minister of National Defense
In office
19 July 2006 – 18 May 2009
President Álvaro Uribe
Preceded by Camilo Ospina Bernal
Succeeded by Freddy Padilla de León
Minister of Finance and Public Credit
In office
7 August 2000 – 7 August 2002
President Andrés Pastrana Arango
Preceded by Juan Camilo Restrepo
Succeeded by Roberto Junguito Bonnet
Personal details
Born 10 August 1951 (1951-08-10) (age 60)
Bogotá, Colombia
Political party Social Party of National Unity
Spouse(s) María Clemencia Rodríguez
Alma mater University of Kansas
London School of Economics
Harvard University
Tufts University
Profession Economist
Religion Roman Catholicism

Juan Manuel Santos Calderón (Spanish pronunciation: [xwan maˈnwel ˈsantos kaldeˈɾon]; born 10 August 1951) is a Colombian politician who has been the President of Colombia since 7 August 2010.[1] He previously served as Minister of Foreign Trade, Minister of Finance, and Minister of National Defense.[2]



Juan Manuel Santos has been Chief Executive of the Colombian Coffee Delegation to the International Coffee Organization[3] in London and Sub-Director of his family owned newspaper El Tiempo. He was Minister of Foreign Trade during the administration of president César Gaviria in 1991[citation needed]. In 1992 he was appointed President of the VII United Nations Conference on Trade and Development for a period of four years.[citation needed] In 1999 he was appointed as President of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and served as Director of the Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF) for the period 2001–2002.[citation needed]

In 1994 Juan Manuel Santos founded the Good Government Foundation, whose stated objective is helping and improving the governability and efficiency of the Colombian Government.[4][5][6] This organization presented a proposal for a demilitarized zone and peace talks with the FARC guerrilla.[7]

Minister of Defense

Santos also founded the Social National Unity Party (Party of the U) to support the presidency of Álvaro Uribe.[citation needed] He was named Minister of Defense on 19 July 2006. During his tenure as Defense Minister the administration dealt a series of blows against the FARC guerrilla group, including the rescue of Fernando Araújo Perdomo, the death of FARC Secretariat member Raul Reyes in a 2 March 2008 air strike against a guerrilla camp located within Ecuador's borders, and the non-violent rescue of former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt held captive since 2002, along with fourteen other hostages, including three Americans.[8]

During his time as Defense Minister, notable controversial events included a military raid inside Ecuador's territory killed FARC leader Raúl Reyes on 1 March 2008 .[9] A misuse of an International Committee of the Red Cross symbol during Operation Jaque used to safely rescue hostages from FARC.[10] And The "false positives" scandal, referring to revelations concerning extrajudicial executions carried out by members of the military in order to artificially increase the number of guerrillas killed by the Army and claim rewards from the government.[11]

On 4 November 2008, Santos admitted that the military had carried out extrajudicial executions to which he pledged to resolve the issue.[12] Twenty-seven military officers, including three generals and eleven colonels, were sacked after an internal army investigation concluded that they were responsible for administrative failures and irregularities in reporting enemy casualties and operational results.[13] The Commander of the Colombian National Army, General Mario Montoya, resigned.[14] By May 2009, 67 soldiers had been found guilty and over 400 were arrested pending trial.[15]

There are different estimates for the number of civilians who may have been killed in this manner. As of May 2009, prosecutors were investigating more than 900 cases involving over 1.500 victims and 1.177 members of the Colombian security forces.[15][16] According to the Coordinación Colombia-Europa-Estados Unidos NGO coalition and the Fundación para la Educación y el Desarrollo, an estimated 3.756 extrajudicial executions occurred between 1994 and 2009, of which 3.084 cases would have taken place after 2002.[17][18]

Families of the victims and non-governmental organizations have held the Uribe administration and Santos, as Defense Minister, responsible for the extrajudicial killings because they consider that the government's reward policies motivated the crimes.[17][18] Directive 029 of 2005 issued under Defense Minister Camilo Ospina Bernal and presidential decree 1400 of May 2006 have been questioned for offering incentives and benefits in exchange for capturing or killing members of illegal armed groups.[18][16]

In June 2009, United Nations Special Rapporteur Philip Alston declared that extrajudicial executions had been carried out in a "more or less systematic manner" by numerous Colombian military personnel and found the number of trials for those implicated to be lacking, but stated that he had found no evidence of the executions being an official government policy and acknowledged a decrease in the number of reported cases.[19]

In March 2010, Santos publicly stated these executions had stopped since October 2008 and that this had been confirmed by the CINEP, one of Colombia's foremost human rights defense institutions. Semana, a well-respected news weekly, reported that a few days later the CINEP responded to Santos's declarations by issuing a press release which stated that, while the number of reported cases had been significantly reduced after the Defense Ministry's measures were announced, the period between November 2008 and December 2009 still saw 7 such executions and 2 arbitrary detentions.[20]

Juan Manuel Santos announced his resignation from the Defense Ministry on 18 May 2009. Santos said that his resignation did not necessarily imply tossing his hat into the 2010 presidential race and that his participation in the electoral race depended on whether Uribe would pursue a third term, which he was willing to support. His resignation took effect on 23 May 2009. When the Constitutional Court ruled out the possibility of Uribe's participation in the upcoming elections, Santos officially launched his campaign for the presidency of the Republic of Colombia.

President of Colombia

Santos and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, 9 June 2010
Juan Manuel Santos in company of the former president of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

On 20 June 2010, after two rounds of elections, Juan Manuel Santos Calderón was officially elected as President of Colombia and was inaugurated on 7 August 2010 in the midst of a diplomatic crisis with Venezuela, which was quickly resolved.[21]

On 6 April 2011, Santos was the President of the United Nations Security Council; he led the Council in a discussion of the situation in Haiti.


Santos is a member of one of Colombia's foremost families. His great-uncle Eduardo Santos was President of Colombia from 1938 to 1942 and the owner and Director of El Tiempo, the country's leading newspaper. His father Enrique Santos Castillo spent over 50 years as editor of the newspaper. His brother Enrique Santos Calderón was director of the newspaper for ten years until it was sold to Grupo Planeta of Spain in 2007. His cousin Francisco Santos served as Vice President during Álvaro Uribe's two terms as President of the country.[22] Juan Manuel Santos is married to Maria Clemencia "Tutina" Rodriguez. They have three children: Martín, María Antonia, and Esteban.


  1. ^ "Historical Challenge". Semana International. 2010-08-13. http://www.semana.com/noticias-print-edition/historical-challenge/143004.aspx. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  2. ^ "Ex ministro de Defensa de Uribe presenta candidatura presidencial". CNN México. 2010-02-27. http://www.cnnmexico.com/mundo/2010/02/27/ex-ministro-de-defensa-de-uribe-presenta-candidatura-presidencial. Retrieved 2010-02-27. 
  3. ^ International Coffee Organization
  4. ^ Fundacion Buen Gobierno. "Portal de Fundacion Buen Gobierno". Buengobierno.com. http://www.buengobierno.com/. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  5. ^ "Juan Manuel Santos - Biografia Y Fotos". ColombiaLink.com. http://www.colombialink.com/01_INDEX/index_personajes/politica/santos_juan_manuel.html. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  6. ^ "Fundación Buengobierno". Archived from the original on 2 February 1999. http://web.archive.org/web/19990202054420/http://www.buengobi.org/Hojavida.htm. 
  7. ^ "Propuesta de Paz". Archived from the original on 9 February 1999. http://web.archive.org/web/19990209033413/http://www.buengobi.org/paz.htm. 
  8. ^ ":: Presidencia de la República de Colombia ::". Presidencia.gov.co. http://www.presidencia.gov.co/prensa_new/ministerios/defensa.htm. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  9. ^ "CNN news". CNN. 2008-03-06. http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/03/05/oas.colombia/index.html. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  10. ^ By Karl Penhaul CNN (2008-08-06). "CNN News". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/07/15/colombia.red.cross/index.html. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  11. ^ (Spanish)"Las cuentas de los falsos positivos". Semana (Colombia). 27 January 2009. http://www.semana.com/noticias-justicia/cuentas-falsos-positivos/120116.aspx. Retrieved 1 February 2009. 
  12. ^ (Spanish) "El Mindefensa reconoce ejecuciones extrajudiciales". El Espectador. 2008-11-04. http://elespectador.com/articulo88049-el-mindefensa-reconoce-ejecuciones-extrajudiciales. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  13. ^ (Spanish) "El ‘dossier’ secreto de los falsos positivos". Semana (Colombia). 25 January 2009. http://www.semana.com/noticias-nacion/dossier-secreto-falsos-positivos/120025.aspx. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  14. ^ "Colombian army commander resigns". BBC News. 4 November 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7709073.stm. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  15. ^ a b "Toxic fallout of Colombian scandal". BBC News. 7 May 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8038399.stm. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  16. ^ a b (Spanish) "Traspié en política de seguridad colombiana". BBC Mundo. 8 May 2009. http://www.bbc.co.uk/mundo/america_latina/2009/05/090507_2145_capturan_militares_colombia.shtml. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  17. ^ a b (Spanish) "Denuncian más de 3 mil ejecuciones extrajudiciales entre 2002 y 2009". El Espectador. 24 May 2010. http://www.elespectador.com/ejecuciones-extrajudiciales/articulo-204807-colombia-hubo-mas-de-3-mil-ejecuciones-extrajudiciales-e. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  18. ^ a b c (Spanish) "Soacha: La punta del iceberg. Falsos positivos e impunidad". Fundación para la Educación y el Desarrollo. 2010. http://www.fedescolombia.org/docs/Informe%20Falsos%20Positivos%20e%20Impunidad.%20FEDES.pdf. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  19. ^ (Spanish) "ONU confirma desalentador panorama en Derechos Humanos". El Espectador. 18 June 2009. http://www.elespectador.com/philip-alston/articulo146447-onu-confirma-desalentador-panorama-derechos-humanos. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  20. ^ "Cinep a Santos: "falsos positivos no han dejado de ser un problema"". Semana.com. http://www.semana.com/noticias-conflicto-armado/cinep-santos-falsos-positivos-no-han-dejado-problema/136830.aspx. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  21. ^ "Venezuela Resumes Relations It Severed with Colombia". Latin American International Tribune. 2010-08-11. http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=362587&CategoryId=10717. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  22. ^ "Santos dice a los colombianos: "No les fallaré, no los voy a defraudar"". Elespectador.com. 2010-06-20. http://www.elespectador.com/noticias/politica/articulo-209478-santos-dice-los-colombianos-no-les-fallare-no-los-voy-defraudar. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Álvaro Uribe
President of Colombia

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