Santos Calderón, Juan Manuel
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. He was reelected in 2014, also after a runoff. In office he agreed (2012) to negotiate with the rebels, a move that was denounced by Uribe. Negotiations led in 2016 to a cease-fire and peace accord with largest group of rebels, but the accord was rejected in a referendum. Santos was nonetheless awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end Colombia's civil war, and the two sides subsequently signed a revised accord.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Colombian History: Biographies