of the Year
ALVARO URIBE VELEZ, President of Colombia
for making Colombians and the world believe that the country's
problems have a solution.
the number of kidnappings nearly in half, while his advisers say
the government could end the FARC guerrilla insurgency in two
2003, his second year in office, the economy grew 3.95%, the highest
since 1995. Inflation is at its lowest in 30 years and government
deficits are the lowest since 1999.
of Colombians abroad are returning home.
A lawyer with specialized training at Harvard and Oxford. Former
mayor of Medellin, Antioquia governor and two-time senator.
Was distinguished as a "Senador Estrella." In 2002,
he was elected president after a first round of elections. He
is 52 and the father of two children.
He is known for his discipline, his impeccable memory and attention
to detail. "The government has to maintain its level of progress
and be much more conscious of what's lacking."
the Colombian Congress to approve his project that would allow
his consecutive reelection without giving into bureaucratic concession
and without jeopardizing key issues for him, such as tax and pension
INFORMATION: He wakes up before dawn and works every
day of the week. He is a big admirer of former U.S. President
Abraham Lincoln and can recite some of his speeches by memory.
He spent last Christmas in a poor municipality on Colombia's Pacific
Coast. It is not uncommon to hear those around him complaining
about not being able to keep up with him.