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Andrés Pastrana Arango


Andrés Pastrana Arango

Andrés Pastrana Arango
30th Colombia Ambassador to United States
In office
24 October 2005 (2005-10-24) – 11 July 2006 (2006-07-11)
President Álvaro Uribe Vélez
Preceded by Luis Alberto Moreno
Succeeded by Carolina Barco Isakson
30th President of Colombia
In office
7 August 1998 (1998-08-07) – 7 August 2002 (2002-08-07)
Vice President Gustavo Bell Lemus
Preceded by Ernesto Samper Pizano
Succeeded by Álvaro Uribe Vélez
18th Secretary General of Non-Aligned Movement
In office
7 August 1998 (1998-08-07) – 2 September 1998 (1998-09-02)
Preceded by Ernesto Samper Pizano
Succeeded by Nelson Mandela
18th Mayor of Bogotá
In office
1 January 1988 (1988-01-01) – 1 January 1990 (1990-01-01)
Preceded by Julio César Sánchez
Succeeded by Juan Martín Caycedo Ferrer
Personal details
Born (1954-08-17) 17 August 1954
Bogotá, D.C., Colombia
Nationality Colombian
Political party Conservative
Other political
Great Alliance for Change
Spouse(s) Nohra Puyana Bickenbach (1981–present)
Relations Misael Pastrana Borrero (father)
  • Santiago Pastrana Puyana
  • Laura Pastrana Puyana
  • Valentina Pastrana Puyana
Alma mater
Profession Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholic

Andrés Pastrana Arango (born 17 August 1954) was the 30th President of Colombia from 1998 to 2002,[1] following in the footsteps of his father, Misael Pastrana Borrero, who was president from 1970 to 1974.


  • Early years 1
  • Political career 2
    • Kidnapping by Medellin Cartel and elected Mayor of Bogota 2.1
    • First candidacy for President of Colombia 2.2
    • President of Colombia (1998-2002) 2.3
    • Ambassador of Colombia to the United States 2.4
      • Resignation 2.4.1
    • Other activities 2.5
  • Awards and Honors 3
  • Popular culture 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
    • Notes 6.1
    • Web pages 6.2
  • External links 7

Early years

During his father's presidency, he was a student in Colegio San Carlos. He got a degree in law at the Our Lady of the Rosary University in 1977, and attended Harvard University as a 1978 Weatherhead Center for International Affairs Fellow. He founded the magazine Guión and a programadora known as Datos y Mensajes, whose flagship program was the newscast Noticiero TV Hoy. As a regular news anchor he became a nationally known figure.

Political career

In 1982 he formally began his political career, gaining a seat on the local Bogotá council. 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 1988 in Antioquia by the Medellín drug cartel, which was pressuring the Colombian government into preventing the extradition of Pablo Escobar and 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.

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)

Bill Clinton, Andrés Pastrana (center) and Chelsea Clinton in Cartagena, Colombia, August 30, 2000.

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 Plan Colombia aid package and anti-drug strategy. He was also heavily criticized for all the seemingly pleasure trips he took around the world during his term.

Ambassador of Colombia to the United States

US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld meeting with Andrés Pastrana.

In 2005 President Álvaro Uribe Vélez, 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" from participating in a government along with ex-president Samper. Pastrana resigned and returned to Colombia and Samper rejected his own appointment. But this move was not well received by the Conservative Party. The Conservative Party was committed to President Uribe (who won the presidency as an independent) and left former President Pastrana alone.

Other activities

Pastrana is a member of the board of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems,[2] and the Honorary president of the Union of Latin American Parties (UPLA).[2]

He is also a member of the Fondation Chirac's honour committee,[3] ever since the foundation was launched in 2008 by former French president Jacques Chirac in order to promote world peace.

Pastrana is also a member of the Club de Madrid, a group of more than 80 former leaders of democratic countries, which works to strengthen democratic leadership worldwide.[4]

He also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Global Panel Foundation, a respected NGO that works behind the scenes in crisis areas around the world.[5]

Pastrana is also a One Young World Counsellor, speaking to 1,300 young people in Dublin, Ireland with four other Latin American former Presidents.[6]

Awards and Honors

In 2013, Pastrana was awarded the Hanno R. Ellenbogen Citizenship Award by the Prague Society for International Cooperation.[7]

Popular culture

Andrés Pastrana is portrayed by the actor Andrés Ogilvie in TV Series Escobar, el patrón del mal.

See also



  1. ^ "Andrés Pastrana Arango." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 21 Jan. 2010 [2].
  2. ^ a b "Board". IFES. 2009. Retrieved Oct 16, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Honor Committee". Fondation Chirac. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Club de Madrid. "Former Heads of State and Government". Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  5. ^ "Global Panel Foundation - Meeting the World in Person". Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "One Young World". Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  7. ^ "The Prague Society - Promoting a global approach to business, politics and academia in Central Europe through transparent networking and off the record dialogue.". Retrieved 23 September 2015. 

Web pages

  • (Spanish) El Colombiano - President Pastrana's job performance
  • (Spanish) El Tiempo - President Uribe and ambassador Pastrana meet
  • (Spanish) El Tiempo - Ex president Pastrana accuses Constitutional Court

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

  • Biography by CIDOB (in Spanish)
Political offices
Preceded by
Ernesto Samper Pizano
President of Colombia
Succeeded by
Álvaro Uribe
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