- Andrés Pastrana Arango
Infobox_President | name=Andrés Pastrana
order=38th President of the
Republic of Colombia
August 7, 1998
August 7, 2002
order2=17th Secretary General of Non-Aligned Movement
August 7, 1998
September 3, 1998
birth_date=Birth date and age|1954|8|17|mf=y
Nohra Puyana de Pastrana
Andrés Pastrana Arango (born
August 17, 1954) was the President of Colombiafrom 1998 to 2002, following in the footsteps of his father, Misael Pastrana, who was president from 1970 to 1974.
During his father's presidency, he was a student in
Colegio San Carlos. He got a degree in law at the Universidad del Rosarioin 1977. After obtaining a postgraduate in Harvard in the United States, he returned to Colombia. On his return he founded a magazine called Guión and a television news program called Noticiero TV Hoy. As a regular news anchor he became a nationally known figure.
In 1982 he formally began his political career, gaining a seat on the local
Bogotácouncil. He also specialized in press articles on the production and trafficking of cocaine, for which he gained many journalistic awards. In 1991 he was elected Senator.
Kidnapping by Medellin Cartel and elected Mayor of Bogota
He was kidnapped on
18 January 1988in Antioquia by the Medellíndrug cartel, which was pressuring the Colombian government into preventing the extradition of Pablo Escobarand other drug lords to the United States. He was found by the National Police a week later, and in March he was elected mayor of Bogotá, a position he held until 1990. He gained a reputation for strengthening security and reducing crime.
First candidacy for President of Colombia
In 1994 he stood for the presidency against Liberal candidate
Ernesto Samper, losing by only 2 points in the second round. Pastrana immediately accused Samper of using drug money to finance his campaign, and provided audio recordings to the authorities which subsequently attracted much media attention and eventually led to a scandal known as "8.000 Process" ("Proceso 8.000").
While this accusation underwent a parliamentary investigation, Pastrana retired into his private life. In 1998, Pastrana announced his intention to run for President. This time he won in the Presidential elections of 1998.
President of Colombia (1998-2002)
His presidency is remembered first for his negotiations with the two left-wing guerrilla groups FARC and ELN, culminating in the grant of a demilitarized safe haven to the guerrillas the size of
Switzerland, and second for his breaking off said negotiations. It is also remembered for a growing degree of unpopularity in polls as his term progressed. Some critics accused him of possibly accepting unspecified bribes from leading FARC and ELN members, but no concrete evidence of that was presented during his presidency. His administration proposed and initially oversaw the implementation of the controversial Plan Colombiaaid package and anti-drug strategy. He was also very criticized for all the seemingly pleasure trips he took around the world during his term.
Ambassador of Colombia to the United States
In 2005 President Uribe, who had been a critic of Pastrana's peace process with the FARC and had received criticisms from Pastrana regarding his negotiations with Colombian paramilitary groups, surprisingly offered the former president the post of Ambassador to the United States in Washington DC. After consulting his family and political supporters, Pastrana accepted.
Some political analysts theorized that Uribe considered that Pastrana would be a useful diplomat in Washington, because he would help to renegotiate Plan Colombia and in general to maintain U.S. aid to Colombia, which has contributed to the successes of the Uribe administration.
In July 2006, a few days after President Uribe had appointed former president Ernesto Samper as Colombian ambassador to France, Pastrana told the President that he was "morally impeded" to participate in a government along with former president Samper. Pastrana resigned and returned to Colombia and Samper rejected his own appointment.
*es icon [http://www.elcolombiano.com.co/proyectos/balancepresidencial/default.htm El Colombiano - President Pastrana's job performance]
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