Biography of Belisario Betancur (1923-VVVV)

Colombian politician, born on February 2, 1923 the town of Amagá, Antioquia (province), in the North of Colombia. President of the Republic between 1982 and 1986.

In 1947 he/she obtained his doctorate in juridical sciences Bolivarian of Medellín (Colombia). Extended studies in economics and sociology in French and American universities. He/She was Professor of law. He/She began his political career when he/she was studying the third year of law, being elected as a Deputy in the Assembly of Antioquia. He/She later held seats in the House of representatives and Senate of the Republic of Colombia. In 1963 was Minister of labour during the Government of Guillermo Leon Valencia. From 1975 to 1977 was Ambassador of Colombia in Madrid, where, by their great cordiality has earned great friendships. Candidate for the Presidency of the Republic in 1970 and 1978, by the conservative party, the polls not decided his election this time. However, were you conducive elections of May 1982, benefiting from the Liberal Party division and becoming the 90 President of Colombia. Immediately preceding the Betancur Government were distinguished by the fighting against the guerrillas. The new President, a few months after his election, to start a dialogue with the guerrillas and grant a wide amnesty. Despite the success of the negotiations to achieve a ceasefire and the agreement obtained with the FARC (revolutionary armed forces of Colombia), both the M-19 (left-wing rebel group) and the Popular Liberation Army (EPL) continued the fight against the Government. The biggest failure in its pacification policy occurred in May 1984, being killed by the guerrilla Justice Minister Rodrigo Lara Bonilla. Betancur then decreed a State of siege throughout the country. But relations with the groups guerrilla were deteriorating and in November 1985 came the dramatic assault by the Bogotá Palacio de Justice M-19, which killed more than 100 people, half of them guerrillas. The Government, in response, definitely suspended peace negotiations with the guerrillas.

Belisario Betancur occupied the Colombian Presidency until August 7, 1986, date in which Virgilio Barco took possession. It was contrary to the legalization of the consumption of cocaine. In 1983 he/she won the Prince of Asturias de Cooperación Iberoamericana, by its support for peace in the American continent.

In his journalistic career has been director of the newspaper La Defense, Medellín, and directed the newspaper El Siglo of Bogotá and the magazine week. He/She is author of several books, as Colombia face to face (1961), at the crossroads of all the (1963), the traveller on Earth (1963), the yearning face (1966), image of social change in Colombia (1966), despite the poverty (1967), from misery to hope. External (1970), support from the soul of birch, Despierta Colombia (1970), populism (1970), from another point of view (1975), the other Colombia (1975), money, prices and wages (1975), the commitment to peace: report to the Congress of Colombia 1982-1986 (1986), homo sapiens was lost in Latin America (1990), the language as an expression of the history of Antioquia (1991), among others. He/She has also written short stories, such as Agua linda, half turn to the right, the rider on the Earth, etc.

In October 1988 he/she was decorated with Grand Collar of the order of Carlos III in recognition of his good offices in the resumption of diplomatic relations between Spain and Guatemala, broken in January 1981. In 2007 was awarded unanimously the Menéndez Pelayo International Prize XXI "by his work as a defender of noble causes, especially education and peace".

After his presidential term, Belisario Betancur has been supporter of dialogue with the guerrillas, both in his country and in the rest of Latin America and has made great efforts in the Latin American forums to restore peace. He/She has shown against any recourse to violence in political crisis. The shipment was opposed of an armed force in 1994 to enforce the return to the Presidency of Jean-Bertrand Aristide to Haiti. Also contrary to the violence it has declared to bring about the return of democracy to Cuba.

Belisario Betancur is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and arts, of the Colombian Academy of language, the Colombian Academy of jurisprudence and the Academia Colombiana de Historia. In February he/she was appointed member of the Mexican Academy of language. It is also Doctor honoris cause by the universities of Colorado and Georgetown, and since 2009, by the Universidad Nacional de Trujillo (Peru).