List of Presidents Of Colombia

Juan Manuel Santos Calderon was president of Colombia from 2010-2018. Editorial credit: Truba7113 /
Juan Manuel Santos Calderon was president of Colombia from 2010-2018. Editorial credit: Truba7113 /

The president of Colombia is the symbol of National Unity and serves to defend and protect the rights and liberties of every Colombian. He or she is the Chief Executive officer and commander in chief of the Military Forces of Colombia. He or she is sworn to protect the nation’s law and guide his country forward in a right and justice manner. For a presidential act to be legal and enforceable a ministry or department must sanction the act unless it is the appointment and demotion of ministers and authorities the president elected during his official term.

List of Colombia Presidents

Simon Bolivar

Simon Bolivar, born on July 24, 1783, was the first president of Colombia, serving from 1819 to 1830. He was a Venezuelan military and political leader who helped in the establishment of Venezuela, Panama, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Bolivia. Born into a wealthy and aristocratic Creole family, Bolivar studied in Europe where he learned the ideas of Enlightenment philosophers from where he became ambitious to replace the Spanish rulers. From 1808, he started the Independent campaigns, and by 1821, his revolution helped Venezuela attain independence. 

Mariano Ospina Perez

Mariano Ospina Perez, a Colombian politician, served as the 17th President of the Republic of Colombia from 1946 until 1950. Born in Medellin to a prominent Colombian family, Ospina started out as an engineer in the Mining School of Antioquia. During his travels, he took pleasure in learning courses on gold mining, sugarcane production, labor relations, economics, cooperatives, and railway system. Before becoming president, he served as the executive administrator of the National Federation of Coffee Growers. As president he led Colombia to a massive development where the country reached the highest level in coffee exports, raising the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). 

Alvaro Uribe Velez

Velez was the 31st president of Colombia, and was born in 1952 in Medellin, Colombia. Uribe Velez served as the Colombian President from 2002 until 2010. Uribe started out by earning a law degree from the University of Antioquia and later management and administration from Harvard University. In 1982 to 1984 he served as the mayor of Medellin and then consecutive terms as a national senator from 1986 to 1994, then governor of Antioquia from 1995 to 1997. Uribe came to power as president as an independent candidate adopting the campaign slogan “Firm hand. Big Heart.”  

Juan Manuel Santos Calderon

Calderon is the 32nd president of Colombia, and was born on August 15, 1951 in Bogota, Colombia. He is the incumbent president of Colombia, serving his second term. Born from a politically influential family, he studied economics in the US and Colombia. After working as the El Tiempo editor which earned him many accolades, Santos entered Colombian politics as the minister of foreign aid in 1991. Two years later, he was appointed as a Presidential designee. When Uribe was barred from running for a 3rd term in office, Santos quit his position in the Uribe government to vie for the presidency. 

An Ongoing Tradition at the Heart of Colombian Politics

Colombia and its presidential office has survived coup d'etats, forced governments, changing economies, shifting boundaries, and also constitutional changes of the republic itself. According to the Colombia Constitution of 1991, the elect president is eligible to serve a four-year term in office. As from the Legislative Act 2 of 2004, the maximum number of conventional terms is two, amounting to a period of eight years. In the absence of the incumbent president, the vice president assumes office.

The Presidents Of Colombia

Presidents Of ColombiaTerm(s) in Office
Simon Bolivar y Palacios1819-1830
Joaquin de Mosquera y Arboleda1,830
Rafael Urdaneta y Faria1830-1831
Francisco de Paula Santander y Omana1832-1837
Jose Ignacio de Marquez Barreto1837-1841
Pedro Alcantara Herran Martinez1841-1845
Tomas Cipriano de Mosquera y Arboleda1845-1849; 1861-1864; 1866-1867
Jose Hilario Lopez Valdez1849-1853
Jose Maria Obando del Campo1853-1854
Jose Maria Melo y Ortiz1,854
Mariano Ospina Rodriguez1857-1861
Bartolome Calvo Diaz1,861
Manuel Murillo Toro1864-1866; 1872-1874
Santos Acosta Castillo1867-1868
Santos Gutierrez Prieto1868-1870
Eustorgio Salgar Moreno1870-1872
Santiago Perez de Manosalbas1874-1876
Aquileo Parra Gomez1876-1878
Julian Trujillo Largacha1878-1880
Rafael Nunez Moledo1880-1882; 1884-1894
Francisco Javier Zaldua y Racines1,882
Jose Eusebio Otalora Martinez1882-1884
Miguel Antonio Caro Tobar1894-1898
Manuel Antonio Sanclemente1898-1900
Jose Manuel Marroquin Ricuarte1900-1904
Rafael Reyes Prieto1904-1909
Ramon Gonzales Valencia1909-1910
Carlos Eugenio Restrepo1910-1914
Jose Vicente Concha Ferreira1914-1918
Marco Fidel Suarez1918-1921
Jorge Holguin Mallarino1921-1922
Pedro Nel Ospina Vazquez1922-1926
Miguel Abadia Mendez1926-1930
Enrique Olaya Herrera1930-1934
Alfonso Lopez Pumarejo1934-1938; 1942-1946
Eduardo Santos Montejo1938-1942
Mariano Ospina Perez1946-1950
Laureano Gomez Castro1950-1953
Gustavo Rojas Pinilla1953-1957
Alberto Lleras Camargo1958-1962
Guillermo Leon Valencia Munoz1962-1966
Carlos Lleras Restrepo1966-1970
Misael Pastrana Borrero1970-1974
Alfonso Lopez Michelsen1974-1978
Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala1978-1982
Belisario Betancur Cuartas1982-1986
Virgilio Barco Vargas1986-1990
Cesar Gaviria Trujillo1990-1994
Ernesto Samper Pizano1994-1998
Andres Pastrana Arango1998-2002
Alvaro Uribe Velez2002-2010
Juan Manuel Santos Calderon (Incumbent)2010-2018
Ivan Duque Marquez2018-

More in Politics