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Colombia has seen significant changes in its security environment in recent years, with constant military pressure on guerrilla groups and the start of peace talks with the rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The government launched, last year, a new security plan called Sword of Honour, which has managed to further debilitate the guerrilla’s military structure.
Military pressure has contributed to the launch of peace negotiations, in 2012. An agreement on the first topic – rural reforms – was achieved in late May, contributing to the view that the decades-old conflict with the FARC might be nearing its end. Colombia’s Defence Minister, Juan Carlos Pinzón, explained the state’s strategy to bring peace and to provide a secure environment for economic progress.
Mr Juan Carlos Pinzón has been Colombia’s Defence Minister since September 2011. Before that, he served as Secretary General of the President's Office since the beginning of the administration of Juan Manuel Santos. Between 2006 and 2009, he was Vice-Minister of Defence for Strategy and Planning, leading the design of the Democratic Security policy. He also participated in the modernisation of special operations and intelligence capabilities for the Armed Forces and led the structural reform of the Ministry of Defence. Between 2004 and 2006, Mr Pinzón worked as a Senior Advisor and Representative of Colombia at the World Bank. He was Vice-Chairman of the Banking Association (2003-2004), Assistant VicePresident of Investment Banking at Citibank (2002) and Private Secretary to the Minister of Finance (2000-2002). Mr Pinzón has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Economics from Javeriana University in Colombia. He also holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Princeton, and completed graduate studies in Strategic Studies and International Relations at Johns Hopkins University.
This meeting was chaired by Nigel Inkster, Director of Transnational Threats and Political Risk. It took place in the Lee Kuan Yew Conference Room at Arundel House, 13–15 Arundel Street, Temple Place, London WC2R 3DX.