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Juan Manuel Santos Calderón

Santos Calderón, Juan Manuel, 1951–, Colombian government official and political leader. From a politically influential family, he studied at the Univ. of Kansas, London School of Economics, Harvard, and Tufts, and worked for Colombia's coffee growers federation and at his family's newspaper. In the 1990s Santos served as foreign trade minister under President César Gaviria, held UN and Latin American trade and economic posts, and was involved in negotiations with leftist rebels. Under President Andrés Pastrana, he served as treasury minister (2000–2002). Subsquently a supporter of President Álvaro Uribe, he became Uribe's defense minister (2006–9), where he was a principle strategist against the leftist rebels and oversaw a number of successful military operations that also aggravated relations with Venezuela and Ecuador. In 2010, after Uribe failed to win the right to run for a third term, Santos was the Party of the U presidential candidate and was easily elected after a runoff in June.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Colombian History: Biographies

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