Marta Lucía Ramírez is the vice president and foreign minister of Colombia. She is a former senator, former minister of defense and foreign trade, and past presidential candidate.
Ramírez has been the CEO of multiple private sector companies and private associations, including ANIF (Financial Institutions Association), FEDELEASING, and the Coalition for Colombian Manufacturers Development. Ramírez was Colombia’s first female minister of national defense and the second woman in Latin America to hold this title. During her tenure, she centralized military spending, designed management indicators for the armed forces, consolidated training within the three branches of the military and National Police, and formed a civil commission for restructuring and strengthening the National Police. Ramírez also served as minister of foreign trade, from 1998-2002, as a senator from 2006-2009, and as a 2010 presidential candidate for the Conservative Party. In the Senate, she introduced legislative initiatives to: permit women to become generals in the military, increase the competitiveness of Colombia’s economy, lower unemployment, mandate English teaching in schools, recognize the rights of the internally displaced, and increase youth participation in public life. Ramírez earned a PhD in law and socioeconomic science from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in her native city of Bogotá. In 2010 she wrote a book in favor of American defense cooperation with the Colombian government. As President of the Colombian Industries Coalition, she published two more books with her team: Innovation for a Competitive Manufactured Industry in Colombia (2011) and Colombia under the International Indicators (2013).
Ramírez is currently on leave from the Dialogue while she serves as vice president of Colombia.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget proposal contains major cuts to foreign aid, including $140 million in cuts to aid for Colombia, as well as the complete elimination of more than 60 federal programs. What would Trump’s cuts mean for the United States’ role and relations in Latin America?
In early May, an employee of the United Nations was kidnapped in Colombia by the FARC rebel group during a visit by the U.N. Security Council to support the country’s recent peace accord. The captors are part of a unit of the FARC that has refused to disarm as part of last year’s peace deal. The following week, eight people were kidnapped by the ELN rebel group, but were later released. How is the implementation of the peace accords between the government and the FARC rebel group going?
As the peace negotiations in Colombia enter their final stage, how likely is it that the Colombian government and the FARC will be successful in convincing the rest of Colombia’s citizens to agree to the deal?