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Alvaro Uribe

Álvaro Uribe Vélez

Former President, the Republic of Colombia

Álvaro Uribe Vélez is the former President of the Republic of Colombia. One of the most remarkable achievements of Álvaro Uribe’s administrations is the advancement in domestic security. In an eight-year period (2002 to the first half of 2010) homicides per year dropped by 70%, and kidnappings dramatically reduced by 84%.

The economy under President Uribe grew steadily. In 2002, Gross Domestic Product was 2.5%, and by 2008, it peaked at higher than 8%. By the first semester of 2010, in the midst of the international economic crisis, Colombia’s GDP remained at a steady 4.3%. During the same period of time, the Consumer Price Index gradually improved from 6.99% to 2.24%, while exports and foreign investment grew at rates that the country never experienced before. In terms of the effectiveness of his social investment policies, poverty decreased from 53.7% in 2002 to 29% in June 2010 and the number of displaced persons dropped from 447,000 to 78,000. Polls consistently showed an unprecedented support for President Uribe, estimated at around 70% after his second year in office.

He reached an impressive 91% approval rating at a high point during 2008 and ended his duties as President of Colombia in August 2010 with 75% approval rating. He continues to be politically active within Colombia, and has also accepted various international positions, such as Visiting Professor at Georgetown University and Vice-Chairman of the UN panel investigating the Gaza Flotilla Raid. Additionally, President Uribe is a member of several international private advisory boards and continuously speaks worldwide in favor of the principles of liberty and democracy. These recurring themes of his political and personal career are further explored in his recently published memoir, “No Lost Causes”.