President Juan Manuel Santos spoke to Colombians abroad on the 201st anniversary of Colombia’s independence from Spain.
“To arrive at this prosperity we have focused on three fundamental purposes, which are those that inspire our Development Plan: continue to maintain and increase security, create more jobs, and reduce poverty rates.”
He said that in the fight against guerrillas and former paramilitary groups, armed forces have killed many of their leaders and reduced crime rates. He acknowledged, however, that “problems remain and that in this endeavor we cannot lower our guard for a minute, and this we will not do!”
Santos announced that as of May 2011, 852,000 more Colombians are working since August 2010. He said the with the passing of employment act, the government has created 70,000 jobs.
The president also maintained that the government is doing what it can to reduce poverty. “In the fight against poverty, we have implemented a Plan of Social Prosperity that looks, through the United Network, to take 350,000 families from extreme poverty,” Santos said.
Santos declared that Colombia is strengthening its ties with other countries around the region and the world. In regards to international relations, he said Colombians “have assumed positive positions of leadership in the great issues of humanity.”
He concluded, “I invite you, dear compatriots and friends of Colombia, to join in this spirit of constructive work and unity, to follow the path that leads all, all toward prosperity!”