Andrés Pastrana

President of Colombia (1998-2002)

Andrés Pastrana was President of Columbia from 1998-2002. Beginning as a local councillor and news broadcaster in Bogotá, he quickly became known for his journalistic critiques of Columbia's cocaine traffickers, and was even kidnapped by the notorious Medellin cartel in 1988. Freed a week later, he was subsequently elected Mayor of Bogotá, followed by a period in the Senate and eventually the Presidency - a position once held by his father. Pastrana's term in office is remembered mainly for his negotiations with the two left-wing guerrilla groups FARC and ELN, culminating in the grant of a demilitarized safe haven the size of Switzerland. Since stepping down, Pastrana has served as a member of the board of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, as well as the Global Panel Foundation and the Club de Madrid. He studied law in Columbia and at Harvard.