Juan Fernando Cristo is the former minister of the Interior for Colombia. Cristo has sixteen years of experience in Congress. As a senator, he drafted the Law on Victims’ Reparations and Land Restitution, and as minister of the Interior, he played a fundamental role in La Habana and in continuing to place the rights of victims of the armed conflict at the forefront of the government’s agenda. He is now dedicated to the implementation of the peace agreement, ensuring that necessary legal reforms are adopted. He has pushed through reforms such as the fast track procedure for peace legislation, the amnesty law, and the special jurisdiction for peace, and legislation for the transformation of the FARC into a political movement.
Cristo was born in Cúcuta in Colombia, studied Law at Universidad de los Andes and began his career in journalism directing Cucuta’s journal La Noticia from 1988 to 1990. He later served as the private secretary of the Minister of Economic Development, as Consul in Caracas, communications adviser to the president, viceminister of Foreign Affairs, ambassador of Colombia to Greece, and as senator for four consecutive terms. In Congress he served as director of the Liberal Party and supported important constitutional reforms, such as the elimination of the National Commission on Television and the political reform of 2003, and legislation for Colombia’s youth. The Law on Victims’ Reparations and Land Restitution constituted his main legislative legacy.
He now heads the think tank Fundación Colombia Crece con Todos. He is the author of books such as A Year From Change, The War on Behalf of the Victims, Shots Against Peace, and a columnist of Cúcuta’s journal La Opinión since 1998.
Cristo was an event speaker at the Dialogue.