70 Facts About Álvaro Uribe Vélez


Alvaro Uribe Velez was born on 4 July 1952 and is a Colombian politician who served as the 31st President of Colombia from 7 August 2002 to 7 August 2010.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez started his political career in his home department of Antioquia.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez held offices in the Public Enterprises of Medellin and in the Ministry of Labor and was the director of the Special Administrative Unit of Civil Aeronautics .

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Alvaro Uribe Velez was a senator between 1986 and 1994 and finally the Governor of Antioquia between 1995 and 1997 before being elected President of Colombia in 2002.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez was elected senator in the 2014 parliamentary election and took office in July 2014.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez was critical of his successor Juan Manuel Santos's peace talks with the FARC guerrillas.

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Alvaro Uribe was born in Medellin, the oldest of five children.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez graduated in 1970 from the Instituto Jorge Robledo after being expelled from the Medellin Benedictine School for arguing with the Benedictine monks.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez studied law at the University of Antioquia and he graduated in 1977.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez's father was killed by a guerrilla group during a 1983 kidnapping attempt.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez served on the city council of Medellin between 1984 and 1986.

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In 1976, at the age of 24, Alvaro Uribe Velez was Chief of Assets for the Public Enterprises of Medellin .

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Alvaro Uribe Velez served as Secretary General of the Ministry of Labor under Alfonso Lopez Michelsen from 1977 to 1978.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez was appointed Mayor of Medellin in 1982, but was removed five months later due to alleged connections with drug cartels.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez was elected one of Antioquia's senators from 1986 to 1990 and again from 1990 to 1994.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez was elected governor of the department of Antioquia for the 1995 to 1997 term.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez ran as an independent liberal candidate, having unofficially separated from his former party.

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The administration of President Andres Pastrana had failed for four years to secure a cease-fire, and Alvaro Uribe Velez began to be seen as a candidate who might provide a viable security program.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez's running mate was Francisco Santos Calderon, a member of the Santos family, who have a long-lasting tradition as members of the Colombian Liberal Party and as owners of Colombian daily newspaper El Tiempo.

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Some of Alvaro Uribe Velez's opponents made accusations during his campaign, especially in a speech by Horacio Serpa and a book published by Newsweek's Joseph Contreras, who interviewed Alvaro Uribe Velez that year.

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Claims centered on Alvaro Uribe Velez's alleged past personal relationships with members of the Medellin Cartel and the sympathy that some paramilitary spokesmen expressed towards Alvaro Uribe Velez as a candidate.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez stated that the government had to first show military superiority in order to eventually make the guerrillas return to the negotiating table with a more flexible position, even if this would only happen after his term in office expired.

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The Alvaro Uribe Velez administration has yet to take effective action to break these ties by investigating and prosecuting high-ranking members of the armed forces credibly alleged to have collaborated with paramilitary groups.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez said in a speech that FARC remained strong and had never retreated, and he credited Colombia's soldiers for previous successes against FARC activities.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez showed a picture of Santiago Uribe, the President's brother, together with Fabio Ochoa, a drug dealer, in 1985.

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Petro argued that Governor Alvaro Uribe Velez's office allowed paramilitary personnel to participate in some of the legal cooperative neighborhood watch groups known as CONVIVIR.

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Two days later, Alvaro Uribe Velez publicly revealed that former US Vice President Al Gore had canceled his participation in a pro-environment event Alvaro Uribe Velez was to attend in Miami due to the continuing allegations against him.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez argued that his family had nothing to do with any massacres and that they had already sold the implicated farms several years before the alleged events.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez stated that the Uribes and the Ochoas were both famous in the horse breeding business, causing their meetings to be both common and public.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez claimed that the helicopter's hours and missions had been strictly logged, making it impossible for it to have participated in any massacre.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez said that he supported the CONVIVIR groups but was not solely responsible for their creation, adding that other civilian and military authorities participated in their oversight.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez said that he dismantled some CONVIVIR groups when doubts began to surround their activities.

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Mario Alvaro Uribe Velez has been accused of meeting with paramilitary commander Salvatore Mancuso in order to plan land seizures.

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On 22 February 2011, Alvaro Uribe Velez Escobar was convicted and sentenced to 90 months in jail after the Colombian Supreme Court found him guilty of the charge of conspiring with paramilitary groups.

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On 23 April 2008, Alvaro Uribe Velez revealed that a former paramilitary fighter had accused him of helping to plan the 1997 massacre of El Aro, a charge which he said was under official investigation.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez described the accuser as a "disgruntled convict with an axe to grind", denied the charges and said there was proof of his innocence.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez's administration was responsible for arresting and extraditing more drug traffickers to the United States and to other countries than all other previous presidents.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez has been publicly recognized as a supporter of the US war on drugs by continually implementing the anti-drug strategy of Plan Colombia.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez is recognized as a supporter of the US war on terror, and the invasion of Iraq.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez administration has maintained generally positive diplomatic relations with Spain and most Latin American nations.

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Several analysts consider that, being an ally of the US, Alvaro Uribe Velez would be ideologically opposed to left wing governments in Latin America and elsewhere.

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Yet, Alvaro Uribe Velez has participated in multilateral meetings and has held bilateral summits with presidents Hugo Chavez, Martin Torrijos, Lula da Silva, Ricardo Lagos, and Carlos Mesa, among others.

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On 30 December 2005, Alvaro Uribe Velez signed a free trade agreement with Mercosur and gives Colombian products preferential access to the market of 230 million people.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez stated that the rescue operation "was guided in every way by the light of the Holy Spirit, the protection of our Lord and the Virgin Mary".

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Alvaro Uribe Velez had warned Chavez against any attempt to talk to military high command.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez announced his intent to sharply reduce bilateral commerce.

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Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega announced the restoration of relations with Colombia at which Alvaro Uribe Velez told him that he would send him the bill for the plane fare for his ambassador.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez administration has continued dealing with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, securing loans, agreeing to cut expenses, agreeing to continue debt payments, privatize public companies and foment investor confidence, in order to comply with financial orthodoxy.

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In September 2003, Alvaro Uribe Velez issued a speech that contained allegations against what he called "agents of terrorism" inside a minority of human rights organizations, while at the same time declaring that he respected criticism from most other established organizations and sources.

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In 2004, Alvaro Uribe Velez successfully sought a Congressional amendment to the Colombian Constitution of 1991 which allowed him to run for a second term as president.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez originally had expressed his disagreement with consecutive reelection during his campaign, but later changed his mind, first at a private level and later in public appearances.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez's supporters consider that no actual bribing took place, and that a consensus among the diverse sectors that back Alvaro Uribe Velez's policies in Congress had to be reached through political negotiation.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez said that the law calling for a referendum contained "substantial violations to the democratic principle" that made it unconstitutional.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez stated that he would respect the decision but called for voters to continue supporting his administration's policies in the upcoming elections.

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In late 2010, a few months after leaving office, Alvaro Uribe Velez was named visiting scholar at Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service, where he taught students in different disciplines as a guest lecturer in seminars and classes.

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In 2011, Alvaro Uribe Velez was granted an honorary award by the Latin American Student Association of Georgetown, for his leadership and commitment with the Latin American community of the university.

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In November 2010, while at the Georgetown campus, Uribe was served a criminal subpoena in the case Claudia Balcero Giraldo v Drummond, regarding hundreds of civilians murdered by paramilitary forces loyal to Uribe.

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In 2012, Alvaro Uribe Velez joined the Leadership Council of Concordia, a nonprofit organization in New York City that creates public-private partnerships.

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Prosecutors accuse Alvaro Uribe Velez of helping to plan paramilitary massacres in La Granja, San Roque and El Aro while he was governor of Antioquia, and the February 1998 assassination of Jesus Maria Valle, an attorney and human rights defender working with victims in those cases.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez, who had served in the Senate prior to his election as president, is the only former Colombian head of state in history to have become a Senator after occupying the presidency.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez campaigned actively against the peace deal between the Juan Manuel Santos administration and FARC.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez argued the deal would undermine the constitution by appointing FARC leaders, who received no prison terms for their crimes, to congress.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez's detention marked the first time in Colombian history that a court had detained a former president.

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The day following his arrest, Alvaro Uribe Velez tested positive for COVID-19, but he announced he was cured six days later.

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Alvaro Uribe Velez was later released on 10 October 2020, after the Supreme Court ruled that there was a lack of evidence to suggest he engaged in witness tampering.

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In 2021, the president of the Truth Commission, Francisco de Roux, demanded from him to ask for forgiveness due to its responsibility in the events related to the False Positives, but Alvaro Uribe Velez declined even the invitation to talk with the commission.

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In 2003, Alvaro Uribe Velez received the Medal of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay in the grade of Grand Cordon.

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In 2005, Alvaro Uribe Velez was made Knight of the Collar of the Order of Isabella the Catholic by King Juan Carlos I of Spain.

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AJC President E Robert Goodkind, who presented the award at AJC's Annual Dinner held at the National Building Museum in Washington, D C, stated: "President Uribe is a staunch ally of the United States, a good friend of Israel and the Jewish people, and is a firm believer in human dignity and human development in Colombia and the Americas".

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Alvaro Uribe Velez's said : "All three leaders have been staunch allies of the United States, particularly in combating terrorism".

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