Colombian President-elect Juan Manuel Santos named former Senator Rodrigo Rivera as his defense minister in an apparent bid to maintain the outgoing government’s pressure on guerrillas.
Santos named former presidential rival German Vargas Lleras Interior Minister.
Rivera, a 47-year-old lawyer, served as Santos’ campaign manager and headed his transition team following his landslide victory in a May runoff election. Prior to joining the president-elect’s campaign, the one-time Liberal Party leader expressed support for a constitutional amendment that would have allowed President Alvaro Uribe to seek a third consecutive term.
“We are going to consolidate the democratic security policy with total transparency, as well as respect for the constitution and laws” Rivera said in comments broadcast on RCN television network. He said he would not make any specific policy announcements until Santos is sworn in on August 7.
Before being elected senator in 1998, Rivera wrote a column for La Tarde newspaper in his home state of Pereira and worked for daily newspaper El Espectador. He is the author of two books: “Fragmented Colombia” and “Towards a New Federalism for Colombia.”
He replaces Gabriel Silva, who will take over as Colombia’s ambassador to the U.S.
Former Senator Vargas Lleras, 48, came in third with 10% behind Santos and Green Party candidate Antanas Mockus in the first round of voting. His Radical Change party endorsed Santos before he won 69% of votes in a runoff election in June to replace Uribe.
Santos, as Uribe’s defense minister from 2006 to 2009, delivered some of the biggest blows against the FARC guerrillas (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), including a 2008 air strike in Ecuador that killed Raul Reyes, the guerillas’ No.2 leader.
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Good start. Now just bomb FARC wherever they are!Jul 29th, 2010 - 11:10 am 0
1 harrier61:Jul 29th, 2010 - 01:14 pm 0
Colombia is being isolated by the rest of Southamerican countries; ALL are part of Latinamerican left. Nestor Kirchner as the head honcho of UNASUR ;thanks to the Uruguayan vote by tupamaro Mujica; its taking over Brazil's leadership. Reality is that Argentina’s play is getting ahead as Southamerica’s leader. Old, weak and retiring Lula will create a leading& power void. Colombia is being cornered to allow Chavez alias Simon Bolivar to keep running the FARCS.
As of July 30, only 5 countries have even ratified the charter of UNASUR (Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana, Venezuela, and Argentina). It is a 12 member group, so it appears that it still has a way to go before it is really anything!Jul 31st, 2010 - 04:38 pm 0