From an early age, Andrés Pastrana was immersed in the realm of public duty as the son of former Colombian President Misael Pastrana. He holds a Doctorate in Law from the Colegio Mayor Nuestra Señora del Rosario and specialized at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. Alongside politics and public service, his primary activity has been journalism.
In 1988, at just 33 years old, Andrés Pastrana became the first mayor of the Colombian capital elected by popular vote. He held the position until 1990. His administration significantly reduced crime rates in the capital by combating drug use, privatizing health services, providing clean water to the poorest sectors of society, and improving the transportation system and education.
During his mayoral campaign, he was kidnapped by the Medellin Cartel. After several months in captivity, he was rescued in a dramatic and dangerous operation.
In 1991, he was elected Senator, leading the list for the New Democratic Force, a movement he created as a split from the conservative party. In 1998, he launched his presidential campaign “Alliance for Change,” winning the elections and becoming the President of Colombia with over 6 million votes, the highest vote count in the country’s history.
During his tenure (1998 – 2002), he managed and implemented the Plan Colombia, a significant tool that strengthened the military forces in the fight against drug trafficking. Through his strategy of Diplomacy for Peace, Andrés Pastrana left Colombia with some of the best international relationships in its history, by exposing and explaining the complexity of the internal conflict and the importance of international collaboration. He also succeeded in unmasking the FARC before the entire world as a terrorist group. Additionally, during his term, he revitalized the economy and recovered the financial system.
During President Álvaro Uribe’s administration, he was appointed as Colombia’s Ambassador to Washington, a position he held until 2006. Andrés Pastrana has been honored with the King of Spain Prize twice and the National Journalism Simon Bolivar Prize for his fight against drug trafficking.
His new conference, “Macro-decisions of a Leader,” is based on three fundamental pillars during his presidency: Trust, Courage, and Conviction. Furthermore, in his lectures, Andrés Pastrana masterfully shares some of his most relevant experiences during his tenure: his kidnapping by Pablo Escobar, his first encounter with the FARC guerrilla leader, and how he managed to secure President Bill Clinton’s collaboration for U.S. support of the Plan Colombia.