President Santos Praises Performance of the Outgoing Defense Minister

President Santos Praises Performance of the Outgoing Defense Minister

By Dialogo
September 02, 2011

On August 31, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos gave high praise and recognition to the performance of the outgoing defense minister, Rodrigo Rivera, who submitted his resignation from the post he had held since August 7, 2010. Speaking to the press, the head of state stressed that Rivera’s devotion, complete dedication, and sense of responsibility as defense minister have borne great fruit for the country.

“You, Dr. Rodrigo Rivera, can say and can tell your grandchildren that you were the defense minister who brought down someone who was perhaps one of those who have been most wanted and most hated in our entire history, that symbol of terrorism, alias ‘Mono Jojoy.’

“During your term as minister, someone who at that time symbolized the terror of criminal gangs was also brought down, the so-called ‘murderer of murderers,’ alias ‘Cuchillo’ [‘Knife’],” President Santos recalled.

He likewise highlighted the fact that Government forces have obtained powerful results in the fight against terrorist and criminal groups during Rivera’s time in office.

“In the case of the FARC, more than 3,411 neutralized; in the case of the ELN, more than 500, 502 to be precise. In the case of the criminal gangs, 3,726,” the president revealed, noting that since Rivera took up his post, the chief crime statistics have maintained a downward trend.

After thanking him for his work at the Defense Ministry, the head of state asked Rivera to continue collaborating with the Colombian Government as ambassador to the European Union.

“I’m going to request that you agree to be my ambassador to the European Union. That embassy is one of the most important embassies the country has, and you’re not only ambassador to the entire European Union, but also to the Kingdom of Belgium, and you also represent Colombia to NATO,” the head of state declared.