Virgilio Barco Vargas
|Virgilio Barco Vargas|
35th President of Colombia
7 August 1986 – 7 August 1990
|Preceded by||Belisario Betancur Cuartas|
|Succeeded by||César Gaviria Trujillo|
|20th Colombia Ambassador to United Kingdom|
9 November 1990 – 1992
|President||César Gaviria Trujillo|
|Preceded by||Fernando Cepeda Ulloa|
|Succeeded by||Luis Prieto Ocampo|
|8th Colombia Ambassador to United Kingdom|
16 June 1961 – 1962
|President||Alberto Lleras Camargo|
|Preceded by||Alfonso López Pumarejo|
|Succeeded by||Alfredo Araújo Grau|
|Colombia Ambassador to United States|
24 June 1977 – 11 December 1980
|President||Alfonso López Michelsen|
|Preceded by||Julio César Turbay Ayala|
|Succeeded by||Jorge Mario Eastman Robledo|
|6th Mayor of the Special District of Bogotá|
|President||Carlos Lleras Restrepo|
|Preceded by||Jorge Gaitán Cortés|
|Succeeded by||Emilio Urrea Delgado|
|Minister of Agriculture of Colombia|
23 April 1963 – 6 October 1963
|President||Guillermo León Valencia|
|Preceded by||Cornelio Reyes|
|Succeeded by||Gustavo Balcázar Monzón|
|41st Minister of Finance and Public Credit of Colombia|
7 August 1962 – 5 September 1962
|President||Guillermo León Valencia|
|Preceded by||Jorge Mejía Palacio|
|Succeeded by||Carlos Sanz de Santamaría|
|Minister of Public Works|
7 August 1958 – 9 November 1960
|Succeeded by||Misael Pastrana Borrero|
17 September 1921|
Cúcuta, North Santander, Colombia
|Died||20 May 1997
Bogotá, D.C., Colombia
|Resting place||Central Cemetery of Bogotá|
|Spouse(s)||Carolina Isakson Proctor
|Children||María Carolina Barco Isakson
Julia Barco Isakson
Diana Barco Isakson
Virgilio Barco Isakson
|Alma mater||National University of Colombia
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Virgilio Barco Vargas (17 September 1921 – 20 May 1997) was a politician and diplomat from Colombia. He was a member of the Colombian Liberal Party and served as President of Colombia from 1986 to 1990.
Barco was born in Cúcuta, Norte de Santander Department, in north-eastern Colombia. Studied Civil Engineering at the National University of Colombia and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he graduated in 1943 , He entered politics in 1943 when he became a city council member in the town of Durania for the Liberal Party. He was then elected to the lower house of Congress, but went into exile in the late 1940s because of violence between liberals and conservatives. He lived in the United States, where his daughter, Carolina Barco Isakson (who would later become a Colombian politician herself) was born.
Barco returned to Colombia in 1954 to help negotiate the peace process which allowed the formation of the National Front between liberals and conservatives, which lasted two decades. He became a member of the Senate, the upper house of Congress in 1958, left to become the ambassador to Britain in 1961, and returned to Colombia in 1962. He served another term in the Senate until 1966, when he was elected mayor of Colombia's capital, Bogotá. He served in that position until 1969, when he became a director of the World Bank until 1974. He then served as ambassador to the United States from 1977 until 1980.
President of Colombia (1986–1990)
Barco was elected president of Colombia with 58% of the vote in 1986. He supported anti-poverty programs, renewed dialogue with leftist guerillas and fought drug traffickers. Though he was popular within the international community, he became less popular in Colombia because the drug traffickers became more violent after he started to move against them. His restrictive economic policies at first doomed the country. After two years of this, The Economic Openness program was initiated by his administration, which would open Colombian markets to the world and recharge the country's economy. He served one 4-year term. When he left the Presidency in 1990. He served as ambassador to Britain again until 1992.
Death and legacy
In his honor was named the Virgilio Barco Library in Bogotá, designed by Rogelio Salmona.
- His daughter, Carolina has served as Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs and as Ambassador of Colombia to the United States.
- His son, also named Virgilio, is founder of Colombia Diversa, a Colombian movement for LGBT rights.
- Barco's biography in "Un Barco Liberal" by Edgar C. Otálvora ASIN B00507QJYE
Belisario Betancur Cuartas
|President of Colombia
- "Virgilio Barco Vargas". Presidency of the Republic of Colombia. June 2013.