Francisco Santos Calderón

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Francisco Santos
8th Vice President of Colombia
In office
August 7, 2002 – August 7, 2010
President Álvaro Uribe Vélez
Preceded by Gustavo Bell
Succeeded by Angelino Garzón
Personal details
Born (1961-08-14) August 14, 1961 (age 56)
Bogotá, Cundinamarca, Colombia
Nationality Colombian
Political party Democratic Center (Colombia)
Spouse(s) María Victoria García
Alma mater University of Kansas
University of Texas at Austin
Occupation Journalist, Professor

Francisco Santos Calderón (born October 14, 1961 in Bogotá), also known as Pacho Santos, is a Colombian politician and journalist. Santos was elected as Álvaro Uribe's second runner up and became Vice President in the Colombian elections of 2002. Santos was re-elected in the presidential elections of 2006 for a second term once again with President Uribe to continue as Vice President of Colombia. His great-uncle Eduardo Santos was President of Colombia from 1938 to 1942 and the current president of Colombia (Juan Manuel Santos) is his cousin.



Santos, like his cousin, President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos, is a graduate of the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, United States. He also graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and attended Harvard Extension School.


In 1990 the Medellín Cartel led by Pablo Escobar kidnapped him to pressure the Colombian government to revert its support of druglords' extraditions to the United States.[citation needed]

Human rights advocate[edit]

Upon his return, Santos became an advocate of human rights in Colombia, especially those of victims affected by kidnapping after he himself suffered from this practice. He created a non-governmental organisation called Fundación Pais Libre (Free Country Foundation), with the intentions of advancing awareness and helping the victims and their families. However, he has been criticised due to polemic declarations that support repression against students involved in protests.

Plan Colombia[edit]

2007 in an interview for the film documentary The War on Drugs Santos defends Plan Colombia and the use of aerial fumigation as a tool for Coca eradication in Colombia.

Shared Responsibility[edit]

Since 2008, Santos has spoken as part of the Shared Responsibility campaign to raise public awareness of cocaine production's impacts on Colombia's forest biodiversity, including deforestation and chemical contamination. The campaign links cocaine use to environmental destruction.[1]

Polemic Declarations[edit]

In November 2011, after a demonstration of students against the privatisation of public education, he as director of one of the important news agencies in Colombia declared in his video blog that participating students should be controlled with electroshock tasers. It was a polemic declaration since students were defending the basic right to education and the repressive option of Francisco Santos was taken by the citizens as anti-democratic.[2]


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Gustavo Adolfo Bell Lemus
Vice President of Colombia
August 7, 2002–August 7, 2010
Succeeded by
Angelino Garzón