Name: Noemi Sanin
Political Party: Conservative Party
Vice Presidential candidate: Luis Ernesto Mejia
Most recent position: Colombia’s Ambassador to the U.K.
Quirky fact: Noemi’s full name is Marta Noemí del Espíritu Santo Sanín Posada de Rubio.
The third of 15 children, Conservative Party candidate Noemi Sanin is a Colombian businesswoman and politician who has served several terms as a Colombian Ambassador. This is the third time that Sanin has run for the presidency. Her critics accuse her with aligning with the government of the day.
1976: Sanin is appointed Vice President of Operations and Credit of the Colmena Corporation.
1978: Sanin is appointed President of Colmena and becomes the first woman in Latin America to manage a financial corporation.
1983: President Belisario Betancur names Sanin Minister of Communications, as post she holds for three years.
1985: As minister, Sanin helps develop Law 42, later viewed as fundamental to the modernization of Colombian television because it allows the creation of regional channels and introduces cable television to the nation.
However, Sanin is accused of censorship by the Colombian Truth Commission, following the storming of the Palace of Justice by M-19 guerrillas, due to her decision not to broadcasting the army’s retaking to the building.
During her time as minister, Betancur appoints Sanin as a government representative in a commission that visits FARC headquarters to attempt peace negotiations with the guerrilla organization.
1988: Sanin becomes president of Corporacion Financiera Colombiana, as position she holds for two years.
1990: President Cesar Gaviria appoints Sanin as Colombian Ambassador to Venezuela. During her year as ambassador, trade between Colombia and Venezuela grows from $300 million to $1.35 billion.
1991: Sanin becomes the first female Foreign Minister in Latin American, when Gaviria appoints her to the Colombian post. During her time as Foreign Minister, Sanin gains a seat for Colombia on the United Nations Security Council, the presidency of the G-77 and signs a treaty with Jamaica on Colombia’s jurisdiction in the Caribbean.
1994: Sanin is appointed as Colombian Ambassador to the U.K. In her role as ambassador, Sanin helps negotiate new airline routes between Colombia and the U.K. but is called back to Colombia due to the “8,000 process scandal,” which involves the government of newly elected President Ernesto Samper.
1998: In the context of economic and political instability in Colombia, Sanin founds political movement Si Colombia and runs for president on anti-unemployment campaign. She finishes third in the first round with 27% of the vote.
Following her defeat, Sanin moves to Boston to study at Harvard University.
2002: Sanin runs for the presidency for a second time with Yes Colombia. Part of her platform is to denounce Alvaro Uribe’s alleged links to right-wing paramilitary groups. She fares poorly and receives only 5.8% of the vote.
2003: President Alvaro Uribe appoints Sanin as Colombian Ambassador to Spain.
2007: Sanin is transferred to the post of Colombian Ambassador to the U.K.
2009: Sanin resigns as Colombian Ambassador to the U.K., in order to begin her third campaign for the Colombian presidency, this time with the Conservative Party.
2010 campaign slogan: “Con Noemi, Ganas Tu, Gana Colombia” – With Noemi, You win, Colombia Wins
Noemi Sanin is the consummate diplomat “in every sense of the word,” who has the ability to connected with people from all walks of life, according to Colombian political analysis website La Silla Vacia.
The Conservative Party presidential candidate is towards the conservative end of the political spectrum. She is in favor in continuing with Uribe’s policy of democratic security. “We are going to build on what’s been built. We are going to consolidate security and liberty,” Sanin says on her website.
Sanin is playing the female president card. “A Colombia le llegó la hora a la mujer” – The time for a woman [president] in Colombia has arrived – is one of her campaign catchphrases. Sanin often refers to former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and former German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her campaigning. However her platform does not focus on feminist policies.
Sanin’s campaign focuses on her TPP ( “Trabaje, Produzca, Progrese” – Work, Produce, Progress) policy.
- Continue along the path of the Uribe administration by: strengthening the State, respect for the law and consolidating forces of authority.
- Combat corruption by strengthening the justice system in order to confront impunity
- Work at strengthening relations with neighboring countries in order to form a united front to fight the FARC.
- Promote greater public and private investment in infrastructure and technology in order to generate employment and make Colombia a more competitive country in the global economy.
- Focus on education as means to combat poverty and inequality.
Position on the conflict
Sanin follows the Uribe administration’s stance on the FARC. She is in favor of the continued strengthening of the State and the armed forces in order to combat security concerns and fights terrorism.
The Conservative Party candidate has ruled out peace talks and/or an “humanitarian exchange” with the FARC.
“There are no conditions for dialogue. I am in favor of maintaining the military offensive, increasing intelligence, international cooperation,” Sanin has said.
- Pressure the U.S. to pass it’s free trade agreement with Colombia
- Seek greater regional unity, particularly with Venezuela and Ecuador, to provide a united front against terrorism
- Re-establish diplomatic and trade ties with Venezuela “in a climate of mutual respect”
- Seek foreign investment in order to stimulate the Colombian economy and generate employment
Sanin has said that in the case of military aggression from another nation, as president she would respond with both arms and diplomacy, although she added that she would seek to avoid conflict with any nation.