• Photo Credit: The Economic Club of Washington, D.C./Joyce N. Boghosian

His Excellency Juan Manuel Santos Calderón

President of the Republic of Colombia | May 18, 2017
Discussed the peace process that ended Colombia's 50-year conflict.

President Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016 for his resolute efforts to bring the country's more than 50-year-long conflict to an end. In his discussion with Club President Rubenstein, President Santos reflected on the events that have moved Colombia near to ending the long-running conflict with FARC. He said, “I got elected president because I was a very effective minister of defense. . . . But then to change the policy and sit down with them, many people didn’t understand that.  They wanted to continue to see if they could exterminate the FARC, which was impossible.  Colombia is a country ideal for guerilla warfare, full of mountains, jungles.  And that would have taken 20 or 30 years more.  What we needed was to weaken the FARC in order to sit them at the negotiating table, because in today’s world any asymmetrical war has to be terminated through negotiations.”

To view additional highlights and excerpts from the event, please click here.

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