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Iván Duque Márquez

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Iván Duque Márquez
Cumbre de la Alianza del Pacífico 2019 (cropped).jpg
33rd President of Colombia
Assumed office
7 August 2018
Vice PresidentMarta Lucía Ramírez
Preceded byJuan Manuel Santos Calderón
Senator of Colombia
In office
20 July 2014 – 10 April 2018
Personal details
Born (1976-08-01) 1 August 1976 (age 44)
Bogotá, Colombia
Political partyDemocratic Center
(m. 2003)
Alma materSergio Arboleda University
American University
Georgetown University

Iván Duque Márquez (Spanish pronunciation: [iˈβan ˈ ˈmaɾkes]; born 1 August 1976) is a Colombian politician and lawyer who is the current president of Colombia. He was elected as Colombia's youngest president, as the candidate from the Democratic Centre Party in the 2018 presidential election.[1] Backed by his mentor, former president and powerful senator Alvaro Uribe and buoyed by a populist wave, he was elected despite having been relatively unknown a year before the election. [2] He ran on a centre-right platform which included opposing the Havana Accords.

His decision to provide temporary protected legal status to nearly 1.7 million Venezuelan migrants drew praise from leaders around the world.[3] Poverty and economic inequality increased in his first full year in office, a trend which worsened during the Covid-19 pandemic.[4] Duque's failure to continue unconditional peace negotiations with ELN (after the 17 January terrorist attack) was also criticised by opposition parties and sections of the public. The police response to the resulting 2020 Bogota Protests and the ongoing 2021 Colombian Protests left 13 dead and around 400 injured, and approximately between 60 dead and 2,100 injured, respectively.[5][6][7][8]

Life and career

Duque was born in Bogota, in a wealthy political family originally from the Colombian town of Gómez Plata, Antioquia, son of Juliana Márquez Tono (political scientist) (1950–) and Iván Duque Escobar (1937–2016), a powerful local political leader who was Governor of Antioquia, auditor in the United Nations, Minister of Mines and Energy, and head of the National Registry of Civil Status in the Government of Andrés Pastrana.[9] Duque's siblings are Andrés and María Paula.[10]

Duque attended Colegio Rochester and graduated from Sergio Arboleda University in Bogotá in 2000 with a degree in law.[11] He holds a LLM in International economic law from American University and a Masters in Public Policy Management from Georgetown University, Washington D.C.. Duque also attended an Executive education course at Harvard University for 5 days, where he studied business and government.[12]

He began his professional career in 1999 as a consultant in the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) and later served as an advisor at the Colombian Ministry of Finance and Public Credit during the government of Andrés Pastrana (1998–2002).

Subsequently, he was appointed by Juan Manuel Santos, future president and then Minister of Finance, as one of Colombia's representatives at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), a post he held between 2001 and 2013. There he served as chief of the Division of Culture, Solidarity, and Creativity.[citation needed]

Duque also served as international advisor of former President Álvaro Uribe Vélez. Between 2010 and 2011, he was a consultant at the United Nations (UN) in the Panel of Inquiry appointed by the Secretary-General for the Incident of the Gaza Flotilla that occurred on 31 May 2010, between Israel and Turkey, known as Mavi Marmara.[citation needed]

Political background

Duque returned to Colombia to become a candidate for the Senate in the legislative elections of 2014, for the Partido Centro Democrático (Democratic Center Party) which split away from the ruling governing party after Juan Manuel Santos opened peace negotiations with the FARC. This new party campaigned against the new peace agreement and the Santos Government, and was led by right wing former president Uribe.[citation needed]

Uribe created his own political party and presented himself and a list of hand picked political allies as candidates for the office of Congressman in a closed list, which meant that people could not vote for an individual congressman but had to vote for the party as a whole in both the upper and lower chamber elections. Duque was included in the number seven spot of the closed off list for the Senate and thus was elected senator.[citation needed]

During his time as a senator, he was the author of four laws:

  • Law 1822 of 4 January 2017,[13] increasing the maternity leave from 14 to 18 weeks, so mothers could spend more time with their newborn children, a benefit that was also extended to adoptive mothers.[citation needed]
  • Law 1831 of 2 May 2017,[14] for the availability of defibrillators in public facilities and places of high public influx, to save lives, since heart attacks are the leading cause of death in Colombia.[citation needed]
  • Law 1809 of 29 September 2016,[15] for the use of advanced severance payments for educational insurance, so that more families can send their children to the university.[citation needed]
  • Law 1834 of 23 May 2017,[16] the "Orange Law" for the promotion, development and protection of the creative and cultural industries.[citation needed]

President of Colombia

Duque (left) shakes hands with Argentinian President Mauricio Macri in August 2018


On 10 December 2017, Duque was nominated by his party as its candidate for President of Colombia. He won the nomination through a system of surveys conducted by the party, with a 29.47% favorability compared to the other two candidates: Carlos Holmes Trujillo who obtained 20.15%, and Rafael Nieto with 20.06%. In January 2018, it was announced that the center-right coalition would participate in the Grand Primary for Colombia – an interparty consultation – with Duque as its candidate confronting Marta Lucía Ramírez (civil-center right movement) and Alejandro Ordóñez (right wing civil movement).[17] On 11 March 2018, Duque won the primary with more than 4 million votes. Ramírez was second, with just over 1.5 million votes, and Ordóñez came third with 385,000 votes. During his speech, Duque thanked the support of Colombians at the polls and announced Marta Lucía Ramírez as his running mate in the elections.[citation needed]

On 27 May 2018, Duque earned the most votes in the first round of the presidential election with over 39% of the vote.[18] Duque was elected President of Colombia on 17 June 2018 after allegedly defeating Gustavo Petro 54% to 42% in the second round, although there have been many public complaints stating that the votes were manipulated to favor Duque. He was sworn in on 7 August 2018 at the Bogota's Bolivar Square.[19]

Venezuelan refugee crisis

The Presidency of Ivan Duque has continued the policies of his predecessor Juan Manuel Santos in regards to immigration, and the Venezuelan refugee crisis. Ivan Duque's government has been a vocal supporter for the Venezuelan Refugees at the United Nations and has provided aid, schooling and health care for many, and has been a vocal critic of other South American countries closing of doors to Venezuelan Refugees.[20] In 2018, Duque dedicated 0.5% of government spending to supporting refugees accounting for about 20% of Colombia's budget short fall, despite opposition.[21] In response to this criticism on a televised address Duque stated: "For those who want to make from xenophobia a political path, we adopt the path of brotherhood, for those who want to outcast or discriminate against migrants, we stand up today ... to say that we are going to take them in and we are going to support them during difficult times." Duque's policies regarding this issue have received repeated praise from international humanitarian organizations for its efforts to legalize, formalize and offer assistance to refugees, and the Atlantic has noted that it has set the bar welcoming refugees. A representative from the International Rescue Committee has noted that: "[she's] never seen a government trying this hard to register people and leave the borders open, unfortunately," she added "the scale of this crisis, and the speed at which it changes, is more than Colombia can handle."[22]

Foreign policy

Duque and his wife María Juliana Ruiz Sandoval with former U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump

During the 2020 United States elections, Duque's party Democratic Centre promoted Republican Party candidates in the United States, especially in Florida, sharing support for President of the United States Donald Trump.[23] The involvement of a Colombian party promoting political candidates in a foreign election drew controversy among some observers.[23] After Duque's party supported President Trump in the 2020 United States presidential election, relations between the government of President Joe Biden and Colombia became strained.[23]


The 2019–2020 Colombian protests were a collection of protests that have occurred since 21 November 2019.[24] Hundreds of thousands of Colombians demonstrated to support the Colombian peace process and against the Duque government.[24][25][26]

The 2021 Colombian protests began on 28 April 2021 against increased taxes proposed by the Duque government amid the pandemic.[27]

Criminal investigation

Following the publication of alleged evidence in March 2008 that Duque's political party conspired with the drug trafficking organization of Marquitos Figueroa to commit fraud in the presidential election,[28] Congress's Accusations Committee and the National Electoral Council opened an investigation into his alleged role in the fraud.[29] The Supreme Court opened a criminal investigation into his political sponsor, right-wing former President Alvaro Uribe,[30] who is already being investigated for alleged witness fraud and bribery.

Published books

Iván Duque is the author of the books Monetary Sins (2007), Machiavelli in Colombia (2010),[31] Orange Effect (2015),[32] IndignAcción (IndignAction) (2017)[33] and is co-author of the book The Orange Economy: An Infinite Opportunity (2013).[34]

Duque has also been an Op-Ed contributor to several newspapers: El Colombiano, from Medellín; Portafolio and El Tiempo from Casa Editorial El Tiempo in Bogotá; and El País in Spain.

Personal life

Duque is Roman Catholic. He is married to María Juliana Ruiz Sandoval, with whom he has three children: Luciana, Matías and Eloísa.[35]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Times, New York (17 June 2018). "Colombia Elects Iván Duque, a Young Populist, as President". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Colombia gives nearly 1 million Venezuelan migrants legal status and right to work".
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "Colombia: Las autoridades deben investigar imparcialmente la represión de las protestas".
  6. ^ "13 civiles muertos y más de 400 heridos en dos días de protestas en Colombia por la muerte de Javier Ordóñez". CNN (in Spanish). 11 September 2020. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  7. ^ de 2021, 25 de Mayo. "El saldo del paro: van al menos 2.100 heridos y 47 muertos, según MinDefensa". infobae (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  8. ^ "Las ONG son más transparentes que la Fiscalía con las cifras de muertos en el paro". La Silla Vacía (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  9. ^ "Ivan Duque Escobar". Semana. 26 May 2002. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  10. ^ Tiempo, Casa Editorial El (11 December 2017). "Este es Iván Duque, el candidato uribista a la presidencia 2018". Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  11. ^ "Por primera vez, la Sergio Arboleda tiene presidente" (in Spanish). Semana. 17 June 2018. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  12. ^ "H.E. Iván Duque Márquez". Concordia. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  13. ^ "Ley 1822 de 2017" (PDF). Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Ley 1831 de 2017" (PDF). Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  15. ^ "Ley 1809 de 2016" (PDF). Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Ley 1834 de 2017" (PDF). Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Iván Duque, el gran ganador de la jornada". Semana. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  18. ^ Murphy, Helen. "Colombia president-elect vows to unite nation, alter peace deal". Reuters. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  19. ^ "Iván Duque: Colombia's new president sworn into office". BBC News World Latin America. 8 August 2018.
  20. ^ "A rude reception awaits many Venezuelans fleeing their country". The Economist. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  21. ^ "Millions of refugees from Venezuela are straining neighbours' hospitality". The Economist. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  22. ^ Baddour, Dylan (30 January 2019). "Colombia's Radical Plan to Welcome Millions of Venezuelan Migrants". The Atlantic. The Atlantic. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  23. ^ a b c Zilbermints, Regina (6 May 2021). "Colombia's protests are threat, test for US". The Hill. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  24. ^ a b Daniels, Joe Parkin (21 November 2019). "Clashes in Colombia as hundreds of thousands protest against government". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  25. ^ "Colombia protests prompt teargas, curfew and border closures". CNN. 22 November 2019. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  26. ^ "With nationwide strike, Colombia joins South America's season of protest". The Washington Post. 21 November 2019. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  27. ^ "Thousands march in Colombia in fourth day of protests against tax plan". Reuters. 1 May 2021.
  28. ^ "Wiretapping of drug trafficker reveals vote-buying for Duque on Uribe's orders". Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  29. ^ "Colombia's electoral authority investigating alleged 2018 election fraud". Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  30. ^ "Colombia's 2018 election fraud: Supreme Court opens investigation against Uribe". Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  31. ^ Tiempo, Casa Editorial El. "Maquiavelo en Colombia". Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  32. ^ PlanetadeLibros. "Efecto naranja – Iván Duque – Planeta de Libros". Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  33. ^ Nacional, Librería. "Librería nacional – compra tus libros en linea desde cualquier lugar". Librería nacional. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  34. ^ "El BID lanza el libro sobre economía creativa y cultural "La Economía Naranja: una oportunidad infinita" – IADB". Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  35. ^ "La Vida Desconocida, Familia y Pareja de Iván Duque". Protagonista.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Juan Manuel Santos
President of Colombia