Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was named as Colombia’s Person of the Year by newspaper El Tiempo.
Santos has managed to mend diplomatic tensions with Ecuador and Venezuela and also resolved internal conflicts at the Supreme Court and “other sources of tension”, since he took office on August 7, El Tiempo explained Saturday.
Since Santos’ inauguration, Colombia “has turned into a country of political and institutional peace.” The president has given “democratic prosperity” to Colombia, the paper added.
Santos’ family had a controlling stake in El Tiempo until 2007, and the newspaper was founded by his great uncle, also a president of Colombia.
El Espectador also named the president as one of their People of the Year on Sunday. He shares that honor with 14 other individuals or bodies, including the armed forces, the Constitutional Court, and Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin.
The newspaper praised the president for his conciliatory approach and his departures from the policies of his predecessor Alvaro Uribe. “Santos has gathered moderate sectors of the left who had been condemned to ostracism by Alvaro Uribe,” according to the paper.
Former Colombian Vice President Humberto de la Calle told the newspaper that “in the early months of Santos’ administration, he has performed a miracle of political alchemy, by keeping intact the support of Uribe’s followers and so increasing his popularity.”
Santos won El Espectador‘s person of the year in 2008, when he was defense minister.
The president’s approval ratings hit a record 90% this month, according to polls.
See the results of Colombia Reports’ Person of the Year poll here.