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Andrés Pastrana Arango
Andres Pastrana Arango (2001).jpg
Pastrana in 2001
30th President of Colombia
In office
7 August 1998 – 7 August 2002
Vice President Gustavo Bell Lemus
Preceded by Ernesto Samper
Succeeded by Álvaro Uribe
30th Ambassador of Colombia to the United States
In office
24 October 2005 – 11 July 2006
President Álvaro Uribe
Preceded by Luis Alberto Moreno
Succeeded by Carolina Barco Isakson
18th Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement
In office
7 August 1998 – 2 September 1998
Preceded by Ernesto Samper Pizano
Succeeded by Nelson Mandela
18th Mayor of Bogotá
In office
1 January 1988 – 1 January 1990
Preceded by Julio César Sánchez
Succeeded by Juan Martín Caycedo Ferrer
Personal details
Born (1954-08-17) 17 August 1954 (age 69)
Bogotá, D.C., Colombia
Political party Conservative
Other political
Great Alliance for Change
Nohra Puyana Bickenbach
(m. 1981)
Relations Misael Pastrana Borrero (father)
María Cristina Arango Vega (mother)
  • Santiago Pastrana Puyana
  • Laura Pastrana Puyana
  • Valentina Pastrana Puyana
Alma mater
Profession Lawyer

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

Early years

Patrana was born on 17 August 1954 in Bogotá to Misael Pastrana Borrero, who later served as the 23rd President of Colombia, and María Cristina Arango Vega, the former First Lady of Colombia.

During his father's presidency, he was a high school student at Colegio San Carlos where he served as president of the student council and graduated in 1973. He later acquired 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.

In 1982, he formally began his political career by gaining a seat on the local Bogotá council. ..... In 1991, he was elected Senator.

Kidnapping by Medellín Cartel and elected Mayor of Bogotá

..... He was found by the National Police a week later, and in March, he was elected Mayor of Bogotá, a position that he held until 1990.

First candidacy for President of Colombia

In 1994, he stood for the presidency against the Liberal candidate, Ernesto Samper, and lost by only 2% in the second round. .....

While the 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 that year's presidential election.

President of Colombia (1998–2002)

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

His presidency is remembered 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 for his breaking off the 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. He was also heavily criticized for all the seemingly-pleasure trips that he took around the world during his term.

In 1999, he and U.S. President Bill Clinton launched Plan Colombia to fight the communist guerrillas with the payment by the United States of $1.6 billion over three years to the Colombian army. An amendment quickly emphasized the plan's second function: to encourage foreign investment by "insisting that the Colombian government complete the urgent reforms designed to open its economy completely to foreign investment and trade."

Military counterguerrilla operations cause the forced displacement of more than one million people in four years. ... production increased by 47% during that period.'

Ambassador of Colombia to the United States

Donald Rumsfeld Andres Pastrana Pentagon Feb 2001 010226-D-9880W-030
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 his 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 Uribe had appointed former President Ernesto Samper as Colombian ambassador to France, Pastrana told Uribe 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. However, that move was not well received by the Conservative Party, which was committed to Uribe, who had won the presidency as an independent, and left Pastrana alone.

Other activities

Pastrana is a board member in the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, and the honorary president of the Union of Latin American Parties (UPLA). He is also a member of the Fondation Chirac's honour committee, and of the Club de Madrid, a group of more than 80 former leaders of democratic countries, which works to strengthen democratic leadership worldwide. Pastrana also serves on the board of advisors for the Global Panel Foundation, and as a counsellor for the One Young World Dublin summit in 2014, along with four other former presidents from Latin American countries.

He now maintains a distant and hostile relation with his own party, even referring to it as "absolutely corrupt". He has also levied accusations of corruption against two of the most prominent party leaders, Efraín Cepeda and Hernán Andrade.

He campaigns in 2016 against the peace agreements signed between the Colombian government and the guerrilla. .....

In October 2021, his name was mentioned in the Pandora Papers as the owner of a company located in Panama, a country considered a tax haven, through which he makes investments in Colombia.

He supports far-right candidate Javier Milei in 2023 Argentine general election.

Coat of Arms of Andrés Pastrana (Order of Isabella the Catholic)
Coat of arms of Andrés Pastrana as knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece

Awards and honors

In 2013, Pastrana was awarded the Hanno R. Ellenbogen Citizenship Award jointly by the Prague Society for International Cooperation and Global Panel Foundation.

Foreign honours

  • Spain:
  • Malaysia:
    • MY Darjah Utama Seri Mahkota Negara (Crown of the Realm) - DMN.svg Honorary Recipient of the Order of the Crown of the Realm (2001)
  • Poland:
    • POL Order Zaslugi RP kl1 BAR.svg Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (2002)

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Andrés Pastrana para niños

  • List of kidnappings
  • Plan Colombia
  • List of solved missing person cases
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