Juan Manuel Santos
Juan Manuel Santos Calderón (Spanish pronunciation: [xwan maˈnwel ˈsantos kaldeˈɾon]; born 10 August 1951) is a Colombian politician who has been thePresident of Colombia since 7 August 2010. He previously served as Minister of Foreign Trade, Minister of Finance, and Minister of National Defense.-------------------------------------------------
Juan Manuel Santos has been Chief Executive of the Colombian Coffee Delegation to the International Coffee Organization 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. In 1992 he was appointed President of the VII United NationsConference on Trade and Development for a period of four years. 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 theCorporación Andina de Fomento (CAF) for the period 2001–2002.
In 1994 Juan Manuel Santos founded the Good Government Foundation, whose statedobjective is helping and improving the governability and efficiency of the Colombian Government. This organization presented a proposal for a demilitarized zone and peace talks with the FARC guerrilla.
Minister of Defense
Santos also founded the Social National Unity Party (Party of the U) to support the presidency of Álvaro Uribe. He was named Minister of Defense on 19July 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 captivesince 2002, along with fourteen other hostages, including three Americans.
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 . A misuse of an International Committee of the Red Cross symbol during Operation Jaque used to safely rescue hostages from FARC.And The "falsepositives" 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.
On 4 November 2008, Santos admitted that the military had carried out extrajudicial executions to which he pledged to resolve the issue. Twenty-seven militaryofficers, 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. The Commander of the Colombian National Army, GeneralMario Montoya, resigned. By May 2009, 67 soldiers had been found guilty and over 400 werearrested pending trial.
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. According to the Coordinación Colombia-Europa-Estados Unidos NGO coalition and the Fundación para la Educación y elDesarrollo, an estimated 3.756 extrajudicial executions occurred between 1994 and 2009, of which 3.084 cases would have taken place after 2002.
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...