Yesterday, Tuesday, December 11, Ambassador Francisco Santos awarded the Order of San Carlos to the House Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. The Cuban-born congresswoman also received a commemoration for her hard work in Congress for 29 years and as a sign of gratitude for her great influence in the decisions concerning helping Latin American countries facing critical situations like Colombia.

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We sent a note, audio and video of the intervention of Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo at the Intergovernmental Conference for the Adoption of the Global Compact for a Secure, Ordered and Regular Migration of the UN

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Washington (Nov. 28/18). During his speech before the Permanent Council of the OAS, Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo thanked "the particular interest that the organization has placed in the situation derived from the migration crisis from Venezuela."
"That is why we have been grateful, Mr. Secretary General, not only for holding the meeting of the Permanent Council to specifically analyze the issue of the migration crisis, but also for the determination that was later made to integrate a working group whose outcome will be, without a doubt, a contribution to deal with the crisis more effectively and efficiently, "said the Chancellor.
 

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El Consulado de Colombia en Chicago informa que el sábado 3 de noviembre de 8:00 a.m. a 12:00 m (medio día), habrá jornada de sábado consular y encuentro con la comunidad en las instalaciones del Consulado en Chicago.

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Keith Mines, director of Andean Affairs of the US Department of State, visited the Transitional Migrant Attention Center of the Red Cross in Cúcuta to verify the situation of Venezuelan migrants.

 

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October 18, 2018- Press Releases - Keith Mines, director of Andean Affairs of the US Department of State, visited the Transitional Migrant Attention Center of the Red Cross in Cúcuta to verify the situation of Venezuelan migrants. "Keith Mines, in the company of the director of Borders, Victor Bautista, visited the Migrant Transitional Attention Center operated by the Red Cross. This place has hosted more than 5,000 people since its opening, "said the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Carlos Holmes Trujillo. During the visit of Mines to the Center of Attention, the official talked with the Venezuelans who are in the place. The US director also went to the community dining Divina Providencia, where they offer daily lunches to Venezuelan migrants. The former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley visited Venezuela border last August and announced $9 million in humanitarian aid.  
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Colombia and the United States ratify their efforts to prevent and counteract the illicit traffic of cultural goods

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The Union Market District will honor Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15) with a celebration of Latin flavors and a curated series of readings and talks with award-winning Latinx authors at the new Politics and Prose store (1270 5th Street NE).

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The President of the Republic, Iván Duque, accompanied by the Minister of Defense, Guillermo Botero; the Minister of Justice, Gloria María Borrero and the Minister of the Interior, Nancy Patricia Gutiérrez, today signed the regulatory decree by which the National Police is empowered to combat the micro-trafficking of drugs in public spaces.

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October 2, 2018- Press Releases - National Government signs regulatory decree to combat drug micro-trafficking in public spaces   • The decree gives the Police the necessary tools to prevent dealers from hiding themselves under the authorization of the minimum dose to induce children and young people to consume drugs.   • The measure does not penalize the minimum dose and is totally respectful of the liberties protected by the high courts of the country and the jurisprudence.   • The decree is another measure of the anti-drug strategy of the National Government   • The National Government has the responsibility and commitment to protect and defend the Colombian families.   Bogotá, October 1, 2018.   The President of the Republic, Iván Duque, accompanied by the Minister of Defense, Guillermo Botero; the Minister of Justice, Gloria María Borrero and the Minister of the Interior, Nancy Patricia Gutiérrez, today signed the regulatory decree by which the National Police is empowered to combat the micro-trafficking of drugs in public spaces.   With this measure, the National Government is fulfilling its commitment to increase controls on consumption and possession, in public space, of prohibited psychoactive substances, with the sole purpose of protecting children and young people from this scourge and improving citizen security and coexistence.   During the signing of the decree, the Colombian president pointed out that "the micro-trafficking and consumption of drugs at the doors of schools, universities and parks has increased exponentially in recent years and we cannot be indifferent to this.  As a Government we have the responsibility and commitment to protect and defend our children, youth, and their families. "   This regulatory decree to the Code of Police and Coexistence, which has an administrative nature, not criminal, endows the Police with the necessary tools to confiscate any amount of drugs that a citizen carries in the public space and thus avoid dealers hiding themselves under the authorization of the minimum dose to induce children and young people to the consumption of drugs.   The measure does not penalize the minimum dose and is totally respectful of the freedoms protected by the Colombian High Courts and by the jurisprudence and for that reason, those to whom an amount equal or less than the minimum allowed dose is confiscated and duly prove their condition of addicts, will be given back the substances. What is being done is to address one of the greatest concerns of Colombians, providing the police so they can fight the micro-traffic and the dealers in the streets.   On the other hand, seizures of drugs that exceed the amount authorized as a minimum dose will be prosecuted under current legislation, which is defined in Law 30 of 1986 "by which the National Statute of Narcotic Drugs is adopted and other provisions are issued”. In its article 2, the literal 'j' defines that the "Dose for personal use: It is the amount of narcotics that a person carries or conserves for his own consumption. It is a dose for personal use the amount of marijuana that does not exceed twenty (20) grams; that of marijuana hashish that does not exceed five (5) grams; of cocaine or any substance based on cocaine that does not exceed one (1) gram, and of methaqualone that does not exceed two (2) grams. "   It is important to specify that the sale of psychoactive substances has always been prohibited and is classified as drug trafficking. In the same way, the consumption of psychoactive or prohibited substances in public space is forbidden by Law 1801 of 2016 or National Code of Police and Coexistence.   The decree has a prevention focus and is one more measure that is part of the anti-drug strategy of the National Government and seeks to protect public spaces from the performance of illicit activities that affect the health and healthy coexistence of citizens. For its implementation, the Police has all the protocols and procedures to address the citizenship. The drug seizure will be done through a verbal process and if the condition of addict is shown, the drug will be returned, if not, it will be destroyed.   In addition to strengthening the fight against the trafficking of prohibited substances in places such as stadiums, sports centers, parks, health centers, and in general in public space, the measure will result in the reduction of the consumption of drugs or prohibited substances.    
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The President Ivan Duque pointed the principals of his government; LEGALITY, ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND EQUITY

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Con el fin de denunciar los crímenes de lesa humanidad acontecidos en Venezuela.

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September 27, 2018- Press Releases - “These has been some successful days for Colombia”, declared President Duque when concluding participation in the UN Assembly   • In the last four days the Colombian Head of State had 17 bilateral meetings with presidents, prime ministers and other personalities, and he participated in nine events of global importance in New York.   New York, September 26, 2018.   President Iván Duque Márquez highlighted today the achievements obtained by Colombia this week in the 73rd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization.   The President highlighted the recognition made by the UN to Colombia’s proposal to face the problem of drugs and the extensive agenda of bilateral meetings held in New York   "I believe these has been some successful days for Colombia, for multiple reasons. First, I think it was great news to have started the Assembly of the United Nations with the declaration that we, 130 countries, signed, to say that we want to confront the illicit drugs of our streets, in our society, "said the Head of the Colombian State.   He pointed the importance of his meetings with the presidents of the United States, France, Portugal and Peru, and with the prime ministers of Canada, New Zealand, Norway and Denmark, among others.   "We also met with several Latin American presidents and I think all the meetings were productive in regard to talking about opportunities, trade, integration, operation between countries. It is also a great achievement that six countries have accompanied us in the denunciation made in the International Criminal Court of Nicolás Maduro and the dictatorship of Venezuela, "he said.   He emphasized the "immense value" of the forums in which he participated, including the Bloomberg meeting, with former President Bill Clinton as moderator. Also the meeting with the other Pacific Alliance presidents, and those of the Colombo American Association and the Council of the Americas.   And regarding the appointment with President Donald Trump, he said that "it was the only bilateral meeting he had with a Latin American president."   "You know that the relationship held by Colombia and the United States is a bipartisan relationship," he told reporters. "I’m very happy to have dialogue with President Trump, to receive his support, to believe in the agenda that we are proposing to Colombia and the world," added President Duque.     In the last four days the Colombian Head of government had 17 bilateral meetings.   The President of the Republic met with six presidents, a vice president, four prime ministers, a former US president, the secretary of the UN, and five directors of international organizations.     He spoke with the Heads of State of the United States, Brazil, Ecuador, Portugal, Peru, and France; with the US Vice President, and with the Prime Ministers of New Zealand, Norway, Canada and Denmark.   Likewise, he had bilateral interviews with the Secretary of the UN, the President of the International Olympic Committee, the USA Secretary of State, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, the former US President Bill Clinton and with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.   Altogether, President Iván Duque was in nine events: the first workshop 'Building Country' (Construyendo País) with Colombians abroad, the high-level meeting for a Call to action against the world drug problem, the Nelson Mandela Summit, the meeting of the Colombo American Association, the Summit of Concordia, the high-level event on the migratory crisis in Venezuela, a meeting with the Council of the Americas, the Bloomberg Forum, the United Nations Assembly and the colloquium of presidents of the countries of the Pacific Alliance.  
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In the last four days the Colombian Head of government had 17 bilateral meetings.

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September 27, 2018- Press Releases - THE PACT FOR EQUITY IS IN PROGRESS. The Speech of President Duque in the UNGA73   - Peace is an objective of all Colombians. We are going to work for it. Our government is going to work so that the process of demobilization, disarmament and reintegration goes forward successfully. We will offer those who have opted for a genuine reincorporation to legality, subject to the principles of truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition, the proper opportunities for progress and protection. Our purpose is to fulfill those who have taken the genuine path of leaving violence.   - Drug trafficking is a global threat. To fight against this phenomenon and at the same time to promote a society that rejects drugs because of its devastating effects on health and society, is our moral duty. We are already taking measures. Two days ago we supported the global call for Action against the Drug Problem, recognizing that work belongs to everyone and requires that all countries contribute, including those where consumption grows or those that are chemical precursor manufacturers.   - Corruption is a threat to democracy, to social values, to institutions and must be faced with determination. From the first day of our government we presented measures to the Congress, and then in response to the popular clamor, we have launched an ambitious agenda with all the parties. We show Colombia and the world that we are capable of uniting in national purposes. I invite the international community to strengthen sanction instruments and mechanisms in the face of transnational corruption.   - We are experiencing the most outrageous migratory and humanitarian crisis in the recent history of the region, due to a dictatorship that annihilated freedoms. The self-determination of the peoples cannot be manipulated to become the self-determination of the oppressors. The world must act and unite so that this tragic exodus comes to an end and a people can see hope flourish. I am pleased that the United Nations has listened to Colombia's request and that the Secretary General has designated Eduardo Stein as Joint Special Representative for Refugees and Migrants of Venezuela, and thus raise this discussion. I thank the countries that accompanied us yesterday to the High Level Meeting, convened by Colombia, where it was clear the regional commitment to address this humanitarian crisis.   - Today more than ever we must be motivated to achieve social justice, reject hatred, polarization, revenge and concentrate on achieving a COLOMBIA PACT: A PACT FOR EQUITY. The Colombia of LEGALITY, ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND EQUITY that we want to build is already under way and we will not let anything take away the hope of being a country that thinks big and dreams of a better tomorrow.     THE PACT FOR EQUITY IS IN PROGRESS   Remarks by the President of the Republic, Iván Duque Márquez, before the General Assembly of the United Nations in the 73rd period of ordinary sessions (v4)   New York City, September 26, 2018     "President of the General Assembly of the Organization of the United Nations, María Fernanda Espinosa   Secretary General of the United Nations Organization, António Guterres   Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Heads of Missions:   I have the immense honor of addressing this Assembly for the first time, charged with history and transcendence, as President of Colombia.   I come with the pride of having been elected with the highest vote of our electoral history and at the same time as a member of a new generation of Colombians, motivated by uniting our country around common goals.   Colombia is a magical country, where multiple races, regions, customs and ecosystems coexist.   It is a nation where the culture, the ancestral heritage, the nature and the industrious and helpful spirit of our citizenry, define the resilient greatness of a society that does not bend before any adversity.   Our patriotic, hard-working, tireless force has made Colombia a place that has earned the respect of the world, the interest of investment and that builds a path of progress with democratic institutions.   We have maintained economic growth amid complex regional volatilities.   We have seen transforming cities and boosting the productive sectors, expanding the middle class, while accommodating ourselves to the challenges of globalization.   We have made progress in equity between men and women in the labor and educational world. To recognize this progress, I named the first joint cabinet between men and women in the history of my country. But there is much to be done on this front and we will continue advancing.   The pride of telling this story commits me as a Colombian and motivates me even more when in 2019 we will celebrate the Bicentennial of our independence.   Today more than ever we must be motivated to achieve social justice, reject hatreds, polarizations, revenge and concentrate on achieving a COLOMBIA PACT: A PACT FOR EQUITY.   That is the invitation we are making: that we build a PLAN AND A DEVELOPMENT AGENDA to define state policies in the upcoming decades, taking as a benchmark to reach by 2030 the Sustainable Development Goals, within a framework of LEGALITY AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP TAKE US TO THE LONG-WAITED AND NECESSARY EQUITY TO CLOSE THE SOCIAL GAPS.   A national purpose   The Pact we propose seeks legality.   PEACE is an objective of all Colombians and everyone, absolutely everyone, we will work for it.   But PEACE needs to be built with the rule of law that combines the public goods of security and justice.   Our government is going to work so that the process of demobilization, disarmament and reinsertion advanced in the last years will go forward successfully.   We will offer those who have opted for a genuine reincorporation to the law, subject to the principles of truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition, the proper opportunities for progress and protection.   I appreciate the support of the United Nations for its commitment to contribute to this process being successful and for that reason we have asked you to continue with this task.   In the same way we will work to reach all regions of the country, mainly those that have been hit by violence, resources and investments that generate hope.   The United Nations Mission in Colombia as well as our control bodies know that our government received a fragile process on several fronts.   First, there is budgetary fragility: Many commitments were made without allocating sufficient resources.   And second is the institutional fragility: a dispersed and complex architecture was created that has been unable until now to efficiently advance towards the objectives.   I reiterate to this Assembly that our purpose, the purpose of Colombia, is to fulfill those who have taken the genuine path of leaving violence.   We hope to count on the financial support of the international community to give the necessary solidity to the process.   But just as we will comply with those who abide by the norms, it is also our duty to apply the law in an exemplary manner to those who persist in criminality.   We will not accept that there is repetition and more violence. Those who continue in the world of crime and try to make fun of the victims and the generosity of the Colombian people will receive the full weight of Justice.   President, if we want peace to shine in Colombia, we need to defeat drug trafficking.   With regard to illicit crops, we received an alarming situation a few weeks ago. The incremental trend of the last five years cannot continue, as these crops have become the fuel and the incentive for the emergence of dangerous organized armed groups.   That is why we are committed to dismantling these transnational crime networks with a comprehensive agenda.   Drug trafficking is a global threat.   It is true that we must do more in terms of prevention and care for addicts from a public health perspective. That is an incontrovertible truth.   But it is not less true that drug trafficking in Colombia is a predator of the environment, a destroyer of institutions, a social corrupter.   To fight against this phenomenon and at the same time to promote a society that rejects drugs because of its devastating effects on health and society, is our moral duty.   We are already taking measures. Two days ago we supported the global call for Action against the Drug Problem, recognizing that work belongs to everyone and requires that all countries contribute, including those where consumption grows or those that are chemical precursor manufacturers.   130 nations with the leadership of the United States committed to continue this struggle. We will not give up or accept as a destination the addiction of so many young people.   Legality also means the defeat of corruption.   Corruption is a threat to democracy, to social values, to institutions and must be faced with determination.   From the first day of our government we presented measures to the Congress, and then in response to the popular clamor, we have launched an ambitious agenda with all the parties.   We show Colombia and the world that we are capable of uniting in national purposes.   I invite the international community to strengthen sanction instruments and mechanisms in the face of transnational corruption.   Defeating corruption is a task that involves us all and we must make every effort to make the corrupt visible and accelerate their judicial and social sanctions.   Our commitment to Development, our PACT FOR COLOMBIA, also seeks to promote entrepreneurship and the reactivation of the Economy.   The Sustainable Development Goals validate our agenda by a Colombia where science and technology are driven by connectivity, access to capital, the advance of the Orange Economy and the promotion of research.   A Colombia committed to the protection of biodiversity, the promotion of renewable energies, the reduction of the individual carbon footprint and the formation of a citizenship strengthened by an unbreakable ethic.   The world must know that this is the Colombia we want to build.   The Situation of Venezuela   We are going to work to achieve that Colombia. That is our challenge and our motivation. For that reason I must tell the world that those purposes face a huge challenge.   That challenge that our country is experiencing today are thousands of fearful faces, with cold bones, hunger in the stomach and pain.                                                                                                                        A challenge that at this precise moment walks to the elements and with uncertainty on the Colombian roads.   They are the Venezuelan brothers fleeing the dictatorship.   Many of them are innocent children, unprotected, exposed to exile.   While the conflict in Syria has generated a flow of 600,000 migrants a year to Turkey alone in a period of six years, Colombia, in less than two years, has opened the doors to almost one million Venezuelan brothers.   We have received them with affection and we will always do it despite any social and fiscal difficulties because we are united by fraternity.   But we cannot stop calling things by their names.   We are experiencing the most outrageous migratory and humanitarian crisis in the recent history of the region, due to a dictatorship that annihilated freedoms.   The self-determination of the peoples cannot be manipulated to become the self-determination of the oppressors.   The world must act and unite so that this tragic exodus comes to an end and a people can see hope flourish.   This is a global challenge. The end of the dictatorship, the return to democracy and full freedom is the only possible way.   That is why the international community must immediately demand the release of political prisoners and quickly identify the best solutions to this crisis and prevent this desolation and despair from increasing.   I am pleased that the United Nations has listened to Colombia's request and that the Secretary General has designated Eduardo Stein as Joint Special Representative for Refugees and Migrants of Venezuela, and thus raise this discussion.   I thank the countries that accompanied us yesterday to the High Level Meeting, convened by Colombia, where it was clear the regional commitment to address this humanitarian crisis.   These measures must be accompanied by the creation of a Multilateral Fund to serve the migrant population, victim of the dictatorship.   That is why we must promote the proposal that the Inter-American Development Bank and its president, Luis Alberto Moreno, has announced in this regard.   But equally important is that all international mechanisms are exercised to denounce, investigate and punish those who have sown this despicable tragedy by the International Criminal Court.   Colombia facing the world   Excellencies, it is an honor for me to address this Assembly, to present the vision we have for Colombia, to call for global solidarity in front of the Venezuelan people and to make an invitation to them.   The world today more than ever requires cooperation and multilateralism.   It is time to integrate and not isolate ourselves.   It is time to make trade and cooperation the path of shared opportunities.   We have a duty to continue advancing in a world where alliances allow us to mitigate the effects of climate change, consolidate fair trade, confront corruption and transnational crime, generate employment opportunities, end discrimination and solidify the idea of ​​producing conserving, conserving producing.   The Colombia of LEGALITY, ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND EQUITY, that we want to build is already under way and we will not let anything take away the hope of being a country that thinks big and dreams of a better tomorrow.   Thank you very much".    
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September 17, 2018- News Clips - Ambassador of Colombia Francisco Santos Presents Credentials to President Donald J. Trump

Washington, DC — Today, Ambassador of Colombia to the United States Francisco Santos presented his credentials to President Donald J. Trump at the White House, making his ambassadorship official. Francisco Santos also submitted a statement for the White House record, which reads in part:

 

 

“My number one priority as Ambassador is to strengthen and enhance this relationship. We believe that together we can play a critical role, for Colombia, the Western Hemisphere and the world in advancing democracy, peace, the rule of law and freedom …
 
“Colombia is determined to never return to the dark days in our history. Under President Duque’s administration, we are putting pressure on all links in the drug trafficking chain, from small farmers involved in the first stage of production – cultivation – to those criminals and criminal networks that are benefitting the most financially from these illicit activities.
 
“The partnership with the United States that has helped make Colombia a role model for other countries in the region, can be expanded to face the common challenges that remain. One that we cannot fail to address is the situation faced by our neighbor, Venezuela... We trust that with the continued cooperation of the United States and the rest of the international community the suffering of the Venezuelan people will come to an end.

"Despite these challenges, we are optimistic about the future of Colombia. We are a strong and resilient nation with a dynamic and expanding middle class, and a thriving business environment. Our bilateral agenda includes a commitment to expanding business, investment and strong economic ties between our two countries.”

 

 

President of Colombia Iván Duque appointed Ambassador Francisco Santos to the post in early September and he arrived in Washington last week. Francisco Santos completed his studies in the United States at the University of Kansas and the University of Texas, earning degrees in Journalism and Latin-American Studies, respectively. He also served as editor of the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.

He served as Vice President of Colombia from 2002 through 2010 during the administration of President Álvaro Uribe Vélez. His policy priorities in that capacity were the fight against corruption, extortion and kidnapping, human rights, and ridding the country of anti-personnel mines. As Vice President, Francisco Santos also led Colombia’s international promotion of trade, investment, and tourism.
 
Born on October 14, 1961 in Bogota, he is married to Maria Victoria García and has four children: Benjamin, Gabriel, Carmen and Pedro.
 
Read his full biography here.

 

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September 4, 2018- News Clips - New Colombian Ambassador Francisco Santos Arrives in Washington D.C.

Washington, DC – Today, the new Colombian Ambassador to the United States Francisco Santos, arrived in Washington, DC, after being sworn in by President Ivan Duque last Thursday in Bogotá. He will assume ambassadorial duties in full following the presentation of his credentials to President Donald J. Trump next Monday.  

The main priority of Francisco Santos as Ambassador will be to strengthen and improve the relationship with the U.S. Administration and Congress for the benefit of both countries, and the region as a whole. Ambassador Santos has reaffirmed that the reduction of illicit crops is a priority for the government of President Duque, and he is already committed to an integral strategy that is putting pressure on all links of the drug trafficking chain and that seeks to show effective results in a short timeframe.

Francisco Santos has also announced a diplomatic offensive to work for a definitive solution to restore democracy in Venezuela. Every day, more than 5,000 of the thousands of refugees that cross the border into Colombia remain in the country, adding to the million refugees that have already arrived.

In addition, he will also work to expand bilateral business, investment and other economic ties, as well as continuing to diversify the Colombia-U.S. agenda, which includes critical issues – from the strategic security alliance to cooperation on energy, science, technology and innovation.

Francisco Santos completed his studies in the United States at the University of Kansas and the University of Texas, earning degrees in Journalism and Latin-American Studies, respectively. He also served as editor of the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.

He served as Vice President of Colombia from 2002 through 2010 during the administration of President Álvaro Uribe Vélez. His policy priorities in that capacity were the fight against corruption, extortion and kidnapping, human rights, and ridding the country of anti-personnel mines. As Vice President, Francisco Santos also led Colombia’s international promotion of trade, investment, and tourism.

See photos here.
 

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September 6, 2018- News Clips - The former Vice President of Colombia (2002-2010), Francisco Santos is appointed as Ambassador of Colombia to the United States

President Iván Duque made official the appointment of Francisco Santos as Colombia’s envoy before the White House. The President assigned the official specific tasks:
"Strengthen both military cooperation and the commercial relationship between the two countries. Our relationship with the United States must be an instrument in favor of science, technology, and innovation, "said the President.
The act of possession took place at the Casa de Nariño in Bogotá, Colombia. The new Ambassador-designate to the United States was accompanied by his children and his wife María Victoria.             

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September 5, 2018- News Clips - Minister of Foreign Affairs travels to Washington D.C.  D.C.  to strengthen the strategic relationship with the United States

Washington (Sep. 5/18). The regional crisis due to the migration of Venezuelans, the strengthening of bilateral cooperation between the United States and Colombia through the High Level Dialogue, the global fight against drugs, humanitarian demining and efforts to consolidate peace, will be some of the topics that Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo will address during the work agenda that will be held in Washington between September 5 and 7.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia will advance a high-level agenda that includes meetings with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; the Assistant Secretary of State, John Sullivan; Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, and National Security Advisor, John Bolton; as well as with the republican senator, Paul Cook, of the Subcommittee of External Relations of the House of Representatives , and the republican congressman, Hal Rogers, President of the Subcommittee of Appropriations of the House of EE.UU. for State and Foreign Operations.

In the framework of the Inter-American System, Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo will also develop a high-level agenda, which includes bilateral meetings with the General Secretary of the Organization of American States, OAS, Luis Almagro, and the Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, IACHR, Paulo Abrao.

Today, Wednesday September 5 he will have a meeting with the 'Colombia Task Force' of the Atlantic Council, which is a mechanism whose main function is to facilitate the evolution of the bilateral relationship.

On Friday, September 7, Foreign Minister Trujillo was invited by Michael Shifter to the Inter-American Dialogue where they will talk about the foreign policy priorities of the administration of President Iván Duque, the national and international challenges of Colombia, the country's bilateral relations with the United States, as well as issues of hemispheric and international significance in foreign policy and new opportunities in trade and integration with Asia.

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September 4, 2018- News Clips - The  Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia is Travelling to the United States on Wednesday, September 5th,  for Meetings on Bilateral Agenda

Washington, DC – The The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carlos Holmes Trujillo, will hold a three-day agenda in DC. Meetings include senior officials of the Administration of President Trump, the United States Congress, and Think Tanks.

The meetings will focus on strengthening the U.S.-Colombia alliance and reaffirming both countries’ commitment to continue and enhance our close cooperation in counter-narcotics efforts, economic issues and security.  Minister Trujillo will also discuss the central role played by Colombia in helping to foster and achieve security and stability in Latin America, in the light of challenges, such as those posed by the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

Among the highlighted meetings are the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees and the House’s State and Foreign Operations Sub Committee.

Minister Trujillo will also meet with the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, in order to examine and review the latest events pertaining to the situation in Venezuela.

On Friday, Sep. 7th, closing the agenda, the Minister will participate in an open discussion at the Inter-American Dialogue, moderated by Michael Shifter, President of The Dialogue.

 
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Get to know Colombia.
Learn more at www.colombiaemb.org.

 

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August 28, 2018- News Clips - Press release on the decision of Colombia to denounce the Constitutive Treaty of UNASUR

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of the Government of Colombia, is allowed to publicly inform that today it was filed before the General Secretariat of UNASUR, the communication notifying the decision of the Republic of Colombia to report the Constitutive Treaty of the Union of South American Nations, signed on May 23, 2008 in Brasilia and renounce its status as a member state of the organization.
This decision, which is based on Article 24 of the Constitutive Treaty, will take effect for the Republic of Colombia six months after the filing date of the communication that was delivered today.
The Union of South American Nations was created on May 23, 2008 in Brasilia, Brazil, as a concertation and integration mechanism that seeks to develop a South American space integrated in political, social, economic, environmental and infrastructure terms. It brings together the 12 countries of South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

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August 23, 2018- News Clips - Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo made an official visit to the United Nations headquarters in New York

On Thursday, August 23, Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo made an official visit to the United Nations headquarters in New York, in order to hold meetings with senior officials of the Organization and members of the Security Council.
Chancellor Trujillo's agenda includes a meeting with the General Secretary of the United Nations, António Guterres; and another one with the President-elect of the General Assembly of the Organization, María Fernanda Espinosa; a working lunch with the ambassadors and permanent representatives of the 15 member countries of the Security Council; and a meeting with the ambassadors and permanent representatives of the 5 countries that, within the scheme of rotation of Nonpermanent Members of this Council, begin their term as of January 1, 2019.
This visit, the first one made by Foreign Minister Trujillo to the UN since his inauguration as the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, is part of a series of activities undertaken in order to advance the process of consolidating Colombia's international agenda, and seeks to share with the Organization the vision of the Government of President Iván Duque in thematic areas of priority interest for our country.

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August 20, 2018- News Clips - President Ivan Duque, informed that the arrest was made in the north of the country and he noted that the shock plan ‘Whoever does the crime, pays the time', adopted a few days ago, is advancing.

The National Police arrested Juan Carlos Castro, a.k.a. 'Pichi', in Tolú, department of Sucre, accused of being the main ringleader of the criminal group called 'The Office', as well as overseeing drug trafficking networks in the department of Antioquia, informed President Iván Duque.
The President highlighted that this capture is another achievement of the shock plan ‘Whoever does the crime, pays the time' launched a few days ago by the National Government.
"I inform the country that the National Police in Tolú, Sucre, captured Juan Carlos Castro, aka 'Pichi' today, the main head of 'The Office' and responsible for criminal and drug trafficking in the Aburrá Valley. We’re moving forward in the shock plan #ElQueLaHaceLaPaga (Whoever does the crime, pays the time)', the Head of State announced on his Twitter account.
In another trill, he thanked 'all the men and women of the @PoliciaColombia (National Police) for this important operation' “Jaguar Phase III”, within the framework of the shock plan #ElQueLaHaceLaPaga' and added that 'this result will contribute to providing more peace to the citizenry of the Valley of Aburrá '.
In the afternoon in Medellín, the Minister of Defense, Guillermo Botero; the Director-General of the Police, Jorge Hernando Nieto; and the mayor of Medellín, capital of Antioquia, Federico Gutiérrez, gave a press conference during which they provided further details of the operation.
"For us it is great news. Here we are fulfilling a promise by the President, which was to deactivate all the criminal activities of The Office during the course of his government, and sooner rather than later, , "said Minister Botero.
Meanwhile, the Director of the National Police, Gen. Jorge Hernando Nieto, said that a.k.a. 'Pichi' was a trusted accomplice of, and successor to, [The Office’s previous crime boss] a.k.a. 'Tom', who was recently captured, and had an outstanding arrest warrant for the crime of aggravated conspiracy.
According to Nieto, ‘precisely in this shock plan, “Whoever does the crime, pays the time”, security with legality, these results are given with all the institutional and inter-institutional capacity," adding that "we are duplicating all efforts to continue weakening all these structures.’
According to the Police, Juan Carlos Castro had been designated by Juan Carlos Mesa Vallejo, a.k.a. 'Tom' or 'Carlos Chata', as responsible for the organization's activities and for maintaining various alliances for purposes of international cocaine trafficking.
Castro is the main leader of the [self-titled] Collegiate Group The Office, to which 70 percent of the crime in the metropolitan area of the Aburrá Valley is attributed, by virtue of its articulation and control of six out of 10 designated Integrated Crime organizations (ODIN).
 

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August 17, 2016- News Clips - Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis met with Colombian President Ivan Duque August 17 in Bogota to reaffirm the long-standing defense relationship between United States and Colombia.  

The leaders discussed a broad range of defense issues, and the Secretary thanked the president for his country’s efforts to optimize the implementation of the peace accord. 

The secretary also thanked Colombia for its work regionally to denounce undemocratic actions — especially those in Venezuela and Nicaragua.

The leaders agreed to continue close military partnership so that long-lasting security and stability are possible in the country.

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August 16, 2018- News Clips - Secretary Mattis travels to South America Source: usembassy.gov

Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis embarks Sunday, Aug. 12 on his first trip to South America while leading the Department of Defense.
The White House declared 2018 the “Year of the Americas,” and the Secretary’s trip underscores the Department’s strong defense ties with Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia. These relationships are critical to a collaborative, prosperous and secure Western hemisphere.
Secretary Mattis will begin his trip in Brazil, where he will meet with senior officials and defense leaders. He will also speak at the Escola Superior de Guerra, the country’s war college, and visit the national monument to Brazilian service members killed in World War II.
Secretary Mattis will then visit Argentina, where he will meet with senior defense officials to discuss defense issues of mutual interest.
His third stop is Chile to exchange strategic perspectives with senior officials.
Secretary Mattis concludes his trip in Colombia, where he will meet members of the newly elected administration.

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August 15, 2018- News Clips - New Cabinet

 
Duque appointed a cabinet consisting largely of known technocrats, with the same number of women and men.
 
 
 
Minister of Agriculture: Andrés Valencia
 
Minister of Defense: Guillermo Botero
 
Minister of Finance: Alberto Carrasquilla
 
Minister of Interior: Nancy Patricia Gutiérrez
 
Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism: José Manuel Restrepo
 
Minister of Foreign Affairs:Carlos Holmes Trujillo
 
Minister of Mines and Energy: María Fernanda Suárez
 
Minister of Transport: Angel María Orozco
 
Minister of Environment: Ricardo Lozano
 
Minister of Housing: Jonathan Malagón
 
Minister of Culture: Carmen Vásquez
 
Minister of Work: Alicia Arango
 
Minister of Justice: Gloria María Borrero
 
Minister of Technology: Silvia Constain
 
Minister of Education: María Victoria Angulo
 
Minister of Health: Juan Pablo Uribe
 
 

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August 15, 2018- News Clips - The Pact for COLOMBIA

Possession’s speech of the President of the Republic of Colombia

Iván Duque Márquez

August 7th, 2018

"Today from this majestic square that bears the name of our Liberator Simón Bolívar, I want to thank God and the Colombian people for giving me the honor of leading the destiny of the Homeland.

Today a new generation comes to the Presidency of Colombia, motivated by service and not by the vain exercise of power, committed to the future and without anchors in the prejudices of the past, inspired by social justice and security as the foundation of our liberties, and dedicated to promoting understanding, teamwork and building consensus.

It is a generation called to govern free of hatred, revenge, pettiness and with the mandate of millions of compatriots to make our country a large land where the symbols of our tricolor take back their meaning.

On one occasion, the famous Darío Echandía wondered: “Power? What for?” His eloquent humility was an invitation to reflect and not forget that governing is a path that only leaves legacies when it is based on principles. Without principles diplomacy is hypocrisy, without principles democracy leads to anarchy, politics without principles is transformed into corruption and unprincipled power quickly mutates to authoritarianism.

I want to govern Colombia with unbreakable values and principles, overcoming the divisions of left and right, overcoming with the popular dialogue the hirsute feelings that invite the social fracture, I want to govern Colombia with the spirit of building, never of destroying.

The BICENTENARY

This commitment that I assume today is based on our history. Next year we will be celebrating the Bicentennial of the independence of Colombia and the full birth of the republican identity of the Nation.

This will be the government of the Bicentennial and we will all build the Colombia of the Bicentennial, for which beyond the traditional celebrations we must make deep reflections on our past and our future.

The Bicentennial should lead us to remember how our Fathers of the Nation were able to leave their egos to forge a common purpose. The indelible imprint of Bolivar, Santander, Sucre, Córdoba, Urdaneta, like the brave lancers who became bigger in the battle of Boyacá to give us freedom, must reaffirm how great we are and can be when we have shared objectives.

When we unite as people nothing stops us. When we all contribute, we are capable of realizing our own prowess that not even magical realism can imagine.

The past also teaches us that dogmatisms can lead to great failures. The independence dawn was overshadowed by the “Patria Boba” (The Foolish Nation), and during several decades of the Republic the wars between brothers that left pain and death, and the quarrels of the small policy brought institutional instability and delays in the development process.

The history of Colombia makes it clear that we are a brave, industrious nation that does not subside at the first sound. And no matter how great the adversities, our desire to progress is even greater.

I never tire of saying that Colombia is RESILIENCE. We have been able to build a vigorous and diverse productive apparatus in the middle of three mountain ranges and difficult slopes, until we become an impetuous economy whose potential does not cease to be recognized in the whole world. We have been able to reduce poverty, expand the middle class and increase health and education coverage. Impossible to forget are the courage and fervor of our Military and Police Forces that have faced the cruelty of criminals, the anarchy of terrorism and the greed of drug trafficking, emerging victorious and demonstrating that the violent will never win.

But analyzing the past must be the opportunity to recognize that many problems grew, did not have timely solutions and repeatedly were transformed into terrible threats. This happened with the neglect of many regions, with drug trafficking, with corruption, with patronage, with the lack of access to public goods in many communities.

Being a resilient nation that knows how to transform adversities into opportunities is the reason why we must take advantage of the Bicentennial to correct the past and build the future. There can be no selfishness. Governing Colombia requires greatness to keep everything that works correct everything that is necessary and build new initiatives, institutions and programs that will assure our country a future of SOCIAL JUSTICE.

THE COUNTRY WE RECEIVE

Today more than ever we have to be able to look at our Nation with optimism without stopping facing reality and calling things by their name. We Colombians have enormous challenges.

We received a convulsed country. More than 300 social leaders have been killed in the last two years, illicit crops have expanded exponentially in recent years, criminal gangs increase their damage capacity in several regions of the country, promises and commitments have been made with social organizations without ensuring their financing.

We have to return the value to the word of the State. The disorganized creation of agencies and programs is increasing citizen distrust and the frustration of those who deserve to benefit with these initiatives, including victims and regions hit by violence.

In economic matters, there are mistakes that have been made and that we must amend. A tax policy motivated by the expansion of spending has led us to asphyxiating burdens and savings; investment, formalization and productivity are affected.

The mistake of having expanded permanent expenditures based on the illusion of a transitory oil bonanza, and then trying to substitute oil for taxes, affected employment generators and consumers.

The amount of cumbersome procedures and the proliferation of regulations, added to the legal instability due to abrupt regulatory changes and have brought negative effects on the business climate of several sectors that are necessary for our present and our future.

We are hurt by the constant scandals of corruption in school feeding, in the health system, in infrastructure projects, in the abuses of direct hiring or in the dangerous cartels which have delegitimized the State, squandered scarce public resources, deny to thousands of citizens the essential services and deserve our immediate action.

BUILDING THE FUTURE

Knowing how to value what we are and have been as a country is the basis for building a better future. Be honest: knowing how to call things by their name and address challenges with optimism and commitment is what we have to do. This must be our goal for the coming years. I invite all of us to build a great pact for Colombia, to build a country, to build a future and to place the things that unite us above the differences.

It is not about thinking the same, it is not about unanimity, and it is not about eluding the healthy discrepancies of ideas that enrich democracy. It is about being able to give life to the necessary consensus so that we are a big, solid and secure nation.

I have always said and will continue saying: Solutions and No Aggressions.

I want to be the President who forges and achieves those agreements thinking what Colombia needs without falling into the temptation of temporary applause.

PACT FOR LEGALITY

That is the foundation of thinking about an Agreement for Legality. I want a Colombia where we can all build peace, where those fallacious divisions between friends and enemies of peace end, because we all want it. For the respect to Colombia and for the citizen mandate that we receive, we will deploy corrective measures to assure the victims truth, proportional justice, reparation and not repetition. We will also correct structural failures that have become evident in the implementation. The victims must expect that there will be moral, material and economic reparation on the part of their victimizers and that they will not be attacked by impunity.

I believe in the demobilization, disarmament and reintegration of the guerrilla base. Many of them were forcibly recruited or separated from their environment by the intimidation of weapons. I am convinced and committed to searching for the base of these organizations, productive opportunities and ensuring their protection. We will also strive for the provision of public goods in all regions of the country, beginning with those that have been hit by violence.

Colombians, Peace must be built by all and for that we must be clear about the importance of having a culture of legality based on the Rule of Law. Only a society where security and justice guarantee the application of the law, manages to defeat violence.

The time has come to prevent the illegal armed groups that kidnap and traffic drugs from earning profits by mimicking their crimes with ideological causes. We must simply make it clear that from now in our Constitution, drug trafficking and kidnapping are not crimes related to political crime or legitimate mechanisms to finance and promote any cause. Today I serve Colombia and I will take this initiative before the Congress of the Republic.

Building Peace requires us to defeat the drug cartels that threaten different parts of the territory. We will be effective in the eradication and substitution of illicit crops by the hand of the communities, in the implementation of productive projects and in breaking the logistic and supply chains of drug trafficking structures. We will not allow the "dissidents", the "combos", the "clans", the so-called "offices" to continue doing theirs on the Pacific Coast, in our borders and in our more remote regions. We will ensure the effective sanction of those who intend to re-offend or mock the victims by hiding weapons or resources necessary for reparation.

As commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces and in collaboration with the judicial authorities, we will act throughout the national territory to dismantle the organized crime networks and bring them before the courts, asserting the premise: The one who does it, pays for it.

I thank many countries that have supported us and we will be with the United States in the fight against transnational crime.

During the first 30 days of our government, we will carry out a responsible, prudent and complete evaluation of the conversations process that has been carried out with the ELN for 17 months. We are going to meet with the United Nations, the Catholic Church and the countries that have been supporting this process, so that in the framework of the independence and the institutionally of the State, share with us the balance about it. I want to make clear that a credible process must be based on the total cessation of criminal actions, with strict international supervision, and defined times. We want to move forward but the Colombian people will not tolerate violence being legitimized as a way to press the State.

Legality implies that we work for citizen security. That we have mechanisms to locate the crime, that we dismantle structures, that we persecute the dealers that induce the children to the tragedy of the drug, that we sanction with life imprisonment to the pimps, to the "Madames", to the rapists and murderers of minors and of women and that we concentrate on the prevention of crime. Legality means that we form a society of values, that from an early age we form civic, urban and respect to sow in the citizens an ethical wall that complements the teachings of the home.

I want to invite you to build together the legality facing corruption with all our strength. I promised Colombia that as President I would assume that task with enthusiasm and today I announce that we are going to empower the citizens to denounce the corrupt and that they know that we are all watching them and we are going to point them out.

We will harden the sentences for the corrupt and we will apply to them that they do not enjoy house by jail nor reduction of penalties, we are going to sanction severely to companies, owners and managers that corrupt officials, prohibiting their contracting with the State, we are going to promote the specifications in all the contracts of the state entities, limit to no more than three periods the presence in collegiate bodies of popular election, make imprescriptible the crimes against the public administration and make the publication of the income statement of all the officials a constitutional duty. Today, with pleasure and motivation, I present this anti-corruption package to the country and Congress because the defense of public ethics belongs to everyone and together we have to achieve it.

The path of legality demands that we achieve between the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary a reform to the Justice that makes it more efficient, closer to the citizen, more reliable and that allows us to timely guarantee the rights of all Colombians.

The reform to the Justice does not wait, because the judicial delay, the jail overcrowding, the endless processes, the precarious technology with which our offices operate, the risks of corruption and in many cases the lack of transparency and procedural and evidentiary coherence, they are eating away collective hope.

Legality also means improving the conditions of the Public Force, providing quality access to goods and services, and establishing the Veteran's Law in Congress that will result in greater well-being for our heroes. Also give the soldiers and police a serious and rigorous institutional and legal framework so that they can fulfill their constitutional duty in strict adherence to Human Rights, feeling the affection of an entire people. As our Father of the Fatherland Francisco de Paula Santander would say "a country that knows how to honor its heroes, is a country that knows how to shape its future".

Legality means defending the lives of all Colombians and protecting the integrity of political and social leaders and our journalists. Every murder hurts, every attack, every threat. We will work with the Ombudsman's Office, the Attorney General's Office and the Prosecutor's Office to prevent violence against them and sanction exemplarily the intellectual and material authors of the crimes and intimidations that have mourned our country. This task belongs to everyone. Of all, and all Colombians, we must reject any form of violence that seeks to silence the free voices of our compatriots.

That legality built by the marriage of security and justice guarantees us the balance that is carved on our shield with the words FREEDOM AND ORDER.

PACT FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Just as we value legality, the time has come to make entrepreneurship the basis of our economic and social progress. Colombia must be a country where micro, small, medium and large companies progress in a sustainable manner to generate quality jobs. That is why we will launch a program of economic reactivation that allows us, with fiscal responsibility, to have a tax system and productive development oriented to investment, savings, formalization, productivity and the competitiveness of our economy.

Eliminating unnecessary expenses, making the public administration more efficient, adopting electronic invoicing and better control systems, in addition to making the tax system more efficient, progressive and equitable, we will achieve the goal of increasing collection while lowering taxes on job generators and we will improve the income of the workers.

I will implement all the structural reforms that are required to ensure the fiscal sustainability of the Nation and we will propose to consolidate a potential growth superior to 4 percent of the GDP.

Our economy must be strengthened every day. We are going to eliminate unnecessary procedures and make existing ones more expeditious, we are going to put an end to absurd regulations that expand the bureaucratic pilgrimage and create incentives for corruption. We are committed to legal security. and that Colombia is a country with the best regional conditions for the creation of new ventures where technology, services, B-companies, creative industries, tourism, agribusiness, among others, are milestones in growth.

All the productive sectors of the country must feel sure that there will be no hostility in my government that prevents them from growing and making Colombia grow.

In our government, we will diversify our production and our exports so that, in addition to manufacturing, we also reduce dependence on raw materials, adding value and positioning our

brands, designs and quality stamps. I want the young people of Colombia to listen to this with attention: We are committed to promoting the Orange Economy so that our actors, artists, producers, musicians, designers, publicists, jewelers, playwrights, photographers and digital animators conquer markets, improve their income, undertake successfully, position your talent and attract the eyes of the world.

Our vision of entrepreneurship is thought for the development of the field, stimulating that the small producers are integrated to the agro-industrial development. I want a dynamic investment field, triggered by incentives to generate permanent employment, a field backed by a foreign trade policy that opens markets and where we can apply effective instruments to the predatory practices of many competitors. A country that trusts its farmers, its producers and allows them to open up to the world, not only achieves food security, but also turns its fields into an engine of social transformation.

Colombians must complete the necessary infrastructure works for competitiveness, create the conditions for a greater investment in connectivity, assess the mining-energy sector and facilitate a better use of royalties for social investments, better compensating the producing regions in strict social and environmental responsibility.

The Colombia of entrepreneurship, the Colombia of business development, is the same that must look affectionately at the cooperative sector and all micro and small entrepreneurs who demand facilities, good treatment and less pressure from the State. Enough with the State that looks at micro, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs as a source of resources, today the State must see in them a strategic ally for the generation of quality of life.

A society of entrepreneurs allows us to see beyond the obvious. It allows us to be creators and not simply consumers of the ingenuity of others. It allows us to think big, to have multinationals born in our territory. It allows us to aspire to be the regional epicenter of robotics, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, biotechnology and integrated data analysis. Colombia must enter this path, to be a decisive player in the fourth industrial revolution. I want that Colombia for our young people and we are going to create the conditions to achieve it. It is true that it will take time, but the time has come to begin.

PACT FOR EQUITY

The final purpose of legality and entrepreneurship is EQUITY. You have to defeat the exclusion. Colombia must reduce the gaps between rich and poor, eliminate the distances between regions that touches development and others that feel trapped in exclusion and misery, defeat the lack of access to public goods of many communities and propose to end extreme poverty in the coming years. I want our government to be remembered as the government of social justice, I want our government to be remembered for working for equity.

Equity is not generated by decree, even less in the pernicious illusions of populism that has caused havoc in several countries of the region. Equity arises from a country that generates a harmonious relationship between employers and employees, from a country that stimulates labor formalization and that provides education, health, culture, sports, housing, mobility, security and public services to the population in need.

To build equity we have to look towards the Pacific, towards our indigenous communities, towards the Orinoquía, towards the Amazon and towards many places of the territory hit by violence, by corruption, by the institutional abandonment of the State. We will be in all these regions acting with social dialogue and making decisions that allow us to correct the mistakes of the past. Social protest is a right and a mechanism of social expression but cannot be above the rights of other citizens. I understand the frustrations of so many Colombians but if we work effectively in social dialogue, identifying viable solutions, we will be more effective and constructive with the country.

Our equity agenda addresses education with a comprehensive approach to early childhood, expansion of the single journey with double feeding, promotion of training for employment and double degree, expansion of the free university for the most vulnerable and assessment of our teachers . Education will be the engine of social change that we are going to leave to our country.

My father and my grandfather were children of the Public University and I want to see it strengthen with academic excellence.

Equity requires us to face the health crisis as a priority. To clean up the system financially, denounce and defeat corruption, depoliticize public hospitals, incorporate the quality of service as an element of remuneration and sanction to the EPS, in addition to a system of prevention and effective promotion are flags that we assume with impetus. In our government, health will be focused on the patient and his quality of life. Equity means that we improve the conditions of the elderly, that we make workers' rights effective, that we make a sustainable pension reform that allows us to allocate subsidies to the poorest, and that we make housing programs the access road to property as a saving factor in Colombian families. Equity is to address and include the disabled population in access to opportunities and that ethnic minorities take visible leadership roles in government, the private sector and social sectors.

Equity is also the responsibility that as a society we have to serve our Venezuelan brothers as migrants and today they knock our doors.

Equity is to give life to Sports and Culture as means for talent to be translated into progress. We will value our ancestral heritage, our traditions, our Afro-descendant literature, our indigenous languages, and our folklore, to make culture a vehicle of social cohesion.

THE ENVIRONMENT AND SCIENCE

A country built on legality, entrepreneurship and equity, demands that we commit ourselves to the environment. In the next four years we will strengthen the National Environmental System, exponentially increase renewable energy sources, promote the massive use of electric vehicles, implement a national strategy against deforestation and create a collective culture of protection of our páramos, our sources of water, our biodiversity, while we become more conscious of reducing the individual carbon footprint. We will be a country that applies to all the productive sectors the idea of unequivocal respect to the environment under the premise of producing conserving, conserving producing.

The same must happen with Science, Technology and Innovation. We cannot see how we are lagging behind the world. We are going to revive the Committee of Wise Men created in the 90s, set ourselves the goal of doubling investment in the sector and better use the resources of royalties to apply knowledge towards the scientific future of the country.

COLOMBIA FRONT OF THE WORLD

All these national purposes have to be harmonized with our foreign policy. We are going to seek international support for our present and future agenda and we will act with convictions and irrevocable principles.

We will enforce the Inter-American Democratic Charter, we will promote the freedom of the people of the region and we will denounce in the multilateral forums, with other countries, the dictatorships that aim to subdue its citizens.

We will do it with words and arguments, without any warlike attitude.

We will protect our territories, our borders, our wealth and strengthen multilateral cooperation on investment, security, innovation, trade and science and technology.

THE GREAT PACT FOR THE FUTURE

That is the Colombia of the future that is built from this present. Let's all work for that pact that allows us to build the country we deserve. Let's not let hate interfere in this purpose, let's not let anything distract us from the path of union. No more divisions of left and right: we are Colombia, No more false divisions between neoliberals and socialists: we are Colombia, No more divisions between tendencies: we are Colombia.

I am honored to invite you to work together, to make history. It is an honor to embark on this journey with the first woman Vice President of our history, Marta Lucía Ramírez. It is an honor to have fulfilled Colombia with a cabinet of experts in their areas and motivated to serve the country and to give Colombia the first joint cabinet between men and women.

Our government will be permanently in the regions, dialoguing with the citizens, looking for options to meet their needs. We will not do miracles, but we will give everything for the future of Colombia. I do not recognize enemies, I do not have political contenders, my only desire is to govern for all and with all Colombians.

Our government will work to make substantial changes to the way we do politics. We will work with the Congress in harmony and seeking strategic investments for the regions, but without gifts, perks or bureaucratic agreements and we will promote a political reform that opens the space to eliminate the preferential vote, promote democracy within the parties and ensure the public financing of the campaigns.

It’s impossible not to remember today, with this Capitol that I have behind my back, my passage through the Senate of the Republic. A place that has harbored the words and debates of many of the greats of Colombia. There I had the honor of exercising politics with ideas and arguments and I got to fully know the challenges of our society. Without that experience, I would not have been able to give shape to the country project that united we will build in these four years. There I had the honor of working alongside a leader and a unique human being: Álvaro Uribe Vélez.

I want the Colombians to know that I will act with humility. I will not be a President locked in a Palace, because the only Palace that I hope to inhabit is the heart of Colombians.

Colombians: Today with honor I assume as President of this great country. I remember my ancestors from Antioquia and Tolima. María Juliana, Luciana, Matías and Eloísa: you are my life. I honor the memory of my Father, to whom I thank eternally for his teachings and express my love to my Mother and my brothers Andrés and María Paula.

I want the life of the Colombians to begin to change already. With hope, let us begin at this moment the path to happiness that corresponds to us as a Nation. Today I give my life to Colombia, to its citizens, to this tricolor that shines in the sky. Colombia will have two hundred years of republican life in 2019 and the Bicentennial should motivate us to the PACT for the FUTURE, to the PACT FOR EQUITY, to the PACT FOR COLOMBIA.

I call on all Colombians, workers, guilds , employers, syndicates, political parties, and social organizations to make this Pact a reality. I invite you to build a country, because this is everyone's effort. I invite you not to let anyone take away this dream. May God bless Colombia.

Thank you so much".

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July 17, 2018- News Clips - This Friday July 20 is the national holiday of Colombia in Washington D.C., you are cordially invited to share and commemorate the independence of our country. In the Hall of the Americas at the OAS from 5pm to 8pm.

The event will be attended by artists such as the group Profetas, the duo formed by the African singer Antombo Langangui and the Colombian Pablo Fortaleza. One of the essential groups to understand the new urban music in Latin America. The fusion of Afro-Colombian music, reggae, rock and a strong hip-hop base.

Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto group, a Colombian traditional folk cumbia group formed in the Caribbean region of Colombia that has been active since 1940. Their folk music preserves the traditional rhythms and sounds of a mixture of Colombian, Spanish and Afro-Colombian indigenous heritage.

 

Hernán Orjuela, presenter, broadcaster and Colombian businessman, who was the host of the humorous “Sábados Felices” program, is the one who will be presenting this event to commemorate the independence of Colombia this Friday, July 20th, at the OAS headquarters in Washington DC.

 

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June 22, 2018- News Clips - Washington, DC — On Thursday, Appropriations Committee of the United States Senate approved the budget bill for the fiscal year 2019 of the State Department and Foreign Operations which allocates for Colombia $391.25 million to support a range of critical initiatives that will further advance the country’s transition to peace. Those initiatives, which reflect the strong bilateral cooperation between Colombia and the United States, focus on a number of issues, including international narcotics control and law enforcement, military education and training, non-proliferation, anti-terrorism and demining and economic development.   

“We thank Congress and the Trump Administration and applaud the many Senate champions across both aisles who supported resources for Colombia and voted in favor of Colombia. These resources demonstrate the strength of our alliance and shared security priorities, and they will go a long way to advance the construction of stable and lasting peace in Colombia.

“Colombia is the strongest U.S. ally in Latin America, and the United States can count on Colombia for continued support in confronting security challenges, both in our region and around the world. As a nation at peace, we are an even stronger partner to the United States. 

“We thank lawmakers for their support and look forward to continuing to work closely with Congress and the Administration to maximize the benefits of the U.S.-Colombia partnership.”

Securing resources for Colombia has been a top priority for the Embassy. Since August 2017, Ambassador Reyes has held almost 100 meetings with members of Congress, including with leaders and members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, as well as the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations Committees.

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