The inauguration of Colombia’s new President Juan Manuel Santos started at 6AM local time Saturday, when Santos traveled to the northern Sierra Nevada for an indigenous ceremony
Santos, his wife Maria Clemencia, and his children Maria Antonia, Martin, and Esteban traveled to the Kogui, Arhuaco, Kankuamo, and Wiwa tribes to receive sacred rocks that according to the indigenous belief help good governance.
Santos and his family will return to the Colombian capital Bogota at 11AM where the incoming president will have lunch with Spanish Prince Felipe de Borbon.
The official inauguration begins 3PM in Bogota’s central square Plaza de Bolivar, where, accompanied by 5,000 guests, Santos will assume the presidency from Alvaro Uribe, who has led Colombia for the past eight years.
The ceremony will continue inside the Casa de Nariño presidential palace, where Uribe will invite Santos into the palace and officially hand over power before the eyes of seventeen foreign leaders.
Authorities heightened security measures all over the country to avoid disruption by armed groups such as the FARC and ELN. Four hundred thousand members of the security forces are deployed to avoid disturbances.