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Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón MC/MPA 1981 described the great strides Colombia has made in the last several years in education, infrastructure, in erasing the country’s deficit, and in narrowing the income gap between the country’s rich and poor during a public address at the JFK. Jr. Forum on Wednesday (September 25).
“We broke a trend,” he said describing the widening inequality gap that has persisted in Colombia for centuries. Today, income for the poor, he said, is rising six times faster than it has for those in Colombia’s upper strata.
Elected to office in 2010 after serving in the administration of former Colombia president Alvaro Uribe Velez, Santos expressed optimism that his country will resolve its more than four-decades-long struggle with the guerilla group FARC. More than 220,000 have died in the conflict with FARC, said Santos, adding he has only known war in his lifetime.
“I am hopeful we can reach agreement and become a country of peace,” he said. “When we release the potential of all Colombians, then the sky is the limit.”
This public address was moderated by Jorge I. Domínguez, Antonio Madero Professor for the Study of Mexico and sponsored by the Institute of Politics.