Iván Duque

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Iván Duque
Iván Duque Márquez (49610487797) (cropped).jpg
Duque in 2020
33rd President of Colombia
Assumed office
7 August 2018
Vice PresidentMarta Lucía Ramírez
Preceded byJuan Manuel Santos
President pro tempore of PROSUR
In office
12 December 2020 – 27 January 2022
Preceded bySebastián Piñera
Succeeded byMario Abdo Benítez
Senator of Colombia
In office
20 July 2014 – 10 April 2018
Personal details
Born (1976-08-01) 1 August 1976 (age 45)
Bogotá, Colombia
Political partyDemocratic Center
(m. 2003)
Alma materSergio Arboleda University
American University
Georgetown University

Iván Duque Márquez (Spanish pronunciation: [iˈβan ˈdu.ke ˈmaɾkes]; born 1 August 1976) is a Colombian politician and lawyer who has been the president of Colombia since 7 August 2018. He was elected as the candidate from the Democratic Centre Party in the 2018 Colombian presidential election.[1] Backed by his mentor, former president and powerful senator Alvaro Uribe, he was elected despite having been relatively unknown a year before the election.[2] He ran on a platform that included opposing Juan Manuel Santos' peace agreement with the FARC guerilla group. Duque will be succeeded by Gustavo Petro on 7 August 2022, after Petro ended up winning the runoff round in the 2022 Colombian presidential election.

Life and career[edit]

Duque was born in Bogotá to a wealthy political family originally from the Colombian town of Gómez Plata, Antioquia. He is the son of Juliana Márquez Tono (political scientist) (1950–) and Iván Duque Escobar (1937–2016), a powerful local political leader who was Governor of Antioquia, auditor in the United Nations, Minister of Mines and Energy, and head of the National Registry of Civil Status in the Government of Andrés Pastrana.[3] Duque's siblings are Andrés and María Paula.[4]

Duque attended Colegio Rochester and graduated from Sergio Arboleda University in Bogotá in 2000 with a degree in law.[5] He holds a LLM in International economic law from American University and a Masters in Public Policy Management from Georgetown University, Washington D.C..

He began his professional career in 1999 as a consultant in the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) and later served as an advisor at the Colombian Ministry of Finance and Public Credit during the government of Andrés Pastrana (1998–2002).

Subsequently, he was appointed by Juan Manuel Santos, future president and then Minister of Finance, as one of Colombia's representatives at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), a post he held between 2001 and 2013. There he served as chief of the Division of Culture, Solidarity, and Creativity.[citation needed]

Duque also served as international advisor of former President Álvaro Uribe Vélez. Between 2010 and 2011, he was a consultant at the United Nations (UN) in the Panel of Inquiry appointed by the Secretary-General for the Incident of the Gaza Flotilla that occurred on 31 May 2010, between Israel and Turkey, known as Mavi Marmara.[citation needed]

Political background[edit]

Duque returned to Colombia to become a candidate for the Senate in the legislative elections of 2014, for the Partido Centro Democrático (Democratic Center Party) which split away from the ruling governing party after Juan Manuel Santos opened peace negotiations with the FARC. This new party campaigned against the new peace agreement and the Santos Government, and was led by right wing former president Uribe.[citation needed]

Uribe created his own political party and presented himself and a list of hand picked political allies as candidates for the office of Congressman in a closed list, which meant that people could not vote for an individual congressman but had to vote for the party as a whole in both the upper and lower chamber elections. Duque was included in the number seven spot of the closed off list for the Senate and thus was elected senator.[citation needed]

During his time as a senator, he was the author of four laws:

  • Law 1822 of 4 January 2017,[6] increasing the maternity leave from 14 to 18 weeks, so mothers could spend more time with their newborn children, a benefit that was also extended to adoptive mothers.[citation needed]
  • Law 1831 of 2 May 2017,[7] for the availability of defibrillators in public facilities and places of high public influx, to save lives, since heart attacks are the leading cause of death in Colombia.[citation needed]
  • Law 1809 of 29 September 2016,[8] for the use of advanced severance payments for educational insurance, so that more families can send their children to the university.[citation needed]
  • Law 1834 of 23 May 2017,[9] the "Orange Law" for the promotion, development and protection of the creative and cultural industries.[citation needed]

President of Colombia[edit]

Duque (left) shakes hands with Argentinian President Mauricio Macri in August 2018


On 10 December 2017, Duque was nominated by his party as its candidate for President of Colombia. He won the nomination through a system of surveys conducted by the party, with a 29.47% favorability compared to the other two candidates: Carlos Holmes Trujillo who obtained 20.15%, and Rafael Nieto with 20.06%. In January 2018, it was announced that the center-right coalition would participate in the Grand Primary for Colombia – an interparty consultation – with Duque as its candidate confronting Marta Lucía Ramírez (civil-center right movement) and Alejandro Ordóñez (right wing civil movement).[10] On 11 March 2018, Duque won the primary with more than 4 million votes. Ramírez was second, with just over 1.5 million votes, and Ordóñez came third with 385,000 votes. During his speech, Duque thanked the support of Colombians at the polls and announced Marta Lucía Ramírez as his running mate in the elections.[citation needed]

On 27 May 2018, Duque earned the most votes in the first round of the presidential election with over 39% of the vote.[11] Duque was elected President of Colombia on 17 June 2018 after defeating Gustavo Petro 54% to 42% in the second round. He was sworn in on 7 August 2018 at the Bogota's Bolivar Square.[12] Duque's government main priorities are legality and entrepreunership, among other areas.[13]

In 2020, after the drug lord "Ñeñe" Hernandez was murdered in Brazil, some audios of him conspiring to give money to Duque's party in order to buy votes for his election were published in what if known as the "Ñeñepolítica".[14][15]

Venezuelan refugee crisis[edit]

The Presidency of Ivan Duque has continued the policies of his predecessor Juan Manuel Santos in regards to immigration, and the Venezuelan refugee crisis. Ivan Duque's government has been a vocal supporter for the Venezuelan Refugees at the United Nations and has provided aid, schooling and health care for many, and has been a vocal critic of other South American countries closing of doors to Venezuelan Refugees.[16] In 2018, Duque dedicated 0.5% of government spending to supporting refugees accounting for about 20% of Colombia's budget short fall, despite opposition.[17] In response to this criticism on a televised address Duque stated: "For those who want to make from xenophobia a political path, we adopt the path of brotherhood, for those who want to outcast or discriminate against migrants, we stand up today ... to say that we are going to take them in and we are going to support them during difficult times." Duque's policies regarding this issue have received repeated praise from international humanitarian organizations for its efforts to legalize, formalize and offer assistance to refugees, and the Atlantic has noted that it has set the bar welcoming refugees. A representative from the International Rescue Committee has noted that: "[she's] never seen a government trying this hard to register people and leave the borders open. Unfortunately," she added "the scale of this crisis, and the speed at which it changes, is more than Colombia can handle."[18] His decision to provide temporary protected legal status to nearly 1.7 million Venezuelan migrants drew praise from leaders around the world.[19]

Foreign policy[edit]

Duque and his wife María Juliana Ruiz Sandoval with U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump in 2019
Duque with U.S. President Joe Biden in 2022

During the 2020 United States elections, Duque's party Democratic Centre promoted Republican Party candidates in the United States, especially in Florida, sharing support for President of the United States Donald Trump.[20] The involvement of a Colombian party promoting political candidates in a foreign election drew controversy among some observers.[20] After Duque's party supported President Trump in the 2020 United States presidential election, relations between the government of President Joe Biden and Colombia became strained.[20]

In the months leading up to the end of his term, he used his proximity to the U.S. government to obtain a position that would project him onto the international stage after his political retirement. The presidency of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees or the Inter-American Development Bank are in his sights, according to the Colombian press.[21]

Domestic Policy[edit]

Opposed to the peace agreement signed in 2016 with the FARC guerrilla group, he nevertheless stated at the time of his election that he had no intention of "smashing it to bits". In power, he is trying to eliminate certain points of the agreement. His government is seeking to weaken the Special Jurisdiction for Peace and is cutting the budget of the Truth Commission and the Unit for the Search for Disappeared Persons by 30%. The government also promotes generals involved in extrajudicial executions (see : "False positives" scandal), appoints controversial figures to key positions and halts negotiations with the other guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army (ELN).[22]

Through its National Development Plan 2018-2022, the Colombian government plans to revive the country's gold and copper markets. In addition, 161 new oil drilling sites are planned for 2022, four times more than the 46 existing in 2018. Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is legalised in 2019. This plan is widely criticised by environmentalists, who consider it dangerous for the environment and the climate (in favour of fossil fuels, which emit a lot of greenhouse gases), and offering the country's non-renewable resources to foreign multinationals (the share of extraction profits paid to the state has dropped to 0.4% for gold and silver, and 3.27% for open-cast coal mines). This plan also threatens indigenous communities, whose territories and resources are once again under threat (in mid-2019 the Pan-American Highway was blocked for several weeks by the mobilisation of thousands of indigenous people in the department of Cauca).[23]


The 2019–2020 Colombian protests were a collection of protests that have occurred since 21 November 2019.[24] Hundreds of thousands of Colombians demonstrated to support the Colombian peace process and against the Duque government.[24][25][26] Demonstrators criticise also the government's desire to make the labour market more flexible, to reduce the public pension fund in favour of private entities and to raise the retirement age . The unions are also protesting against the tax reform aimed at reducing the taxes paid by companies and against the planned privatisation of public companies such as the oil company Ecopetrol and the electricity company Cenit. The army was deployed in the main cities of the country and a curfew was introduced.[27] The unpopularity rate of Iván Duque reached almost 70%.[28]

The 2021 Colombian protests began on 28 April 2021 against increased taxes proposed by the Duque government amid the pandemic.[29]

Criminal investigation[edit]

Following the publication of alleged evidence in March 2018 that Duque's political party conspired with the drug trafficking organization of Marquitos Figueroa to commit fraud in the presidential election,[30] Congress's Accusations Committee and the National Electoral Council opened an investigation into his alleged role in the fraud.[31] The Supreme Court opened a criminal investigation into his political sponsor, right-wing former President Alvaro Uribe,[32] who is already being investigated for alleged witness fraud and bribery.

Published books[edit]

Iván Duque is the author of the books Monetary Sins (2007), Machiavelli in Colombia (2010),[33] Orange Effect (2015),[34] IndignAcción (IndignAction) (2017)[35] and is co-author of the book The Orange Economy: An Infinite Opportunity (2013).[36]

Duque has also been an Op-Ed contributor to several newspapers: El Colombiano, from Medellín; Portafolio and El Tiempo from Casa Editorial El Tiempo in Bogotá; and El País in Spain.

Personal life[edit]

Duque is Roman Catholic. He is married to María Juliana Ruiz Sandoval, with whom he has three children: Luciana, Matías and Eloísa.[37]

Foreign honours[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Iván Duque: Colombia's new president sworn into office". BBC News. 8 August 2018. Archived from the original on 30 October 2020. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  2. ^ Times, New York (17 June 2018). "Colombia Elects Iván Duque, a Young Populist, as President". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 31 December 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Ivan Duque Escobar". Semana. 26 May 2002. Archived from the original on 28 August 2019. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  4. ^ Tiempo, Casa Editorial El (11 December 2017). "Este es Iván Duque, el candidato uribista a la presidencia 2018". Archived from the original on 20 May 2020. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Por primera vez, la Sergio Arboleda tiene presidente" (in Spanish). Semana. 17 June 2018. Archived from the original on 13 August 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Ley 1822 de 2017" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 October 2020. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Ley 1831 de 2017" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 September 2020. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  8. ^ "Ley 1809 de 2016" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 October 2020. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  9. ^ "Ley 1834 de 2017" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 October 2020. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  10. ^ "Iván Duque, el gran ganador de la jornada". Semana. Archived from the original on 15 June 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  11. ^ Murphy, Helen. "Colombia president-elect vows to unite nation, alter peace deal". Reuters. Archived from the original on 24 June 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Iván Duque: Colombia's new president sworn into office". BBC News World Latin America. 8 August 2018. Archived from the original on 30 October 2020. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Overview". World Bank. Archived from the original on 17 January 2022. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  14. ^ "Interceptions to drug trafficker 'Ñeñe' Hernández expose vote-buying for Duque by order of Uribe".
  15. ^ "Audio proves Duque's party conspired with narcos to rig Colombia's presidential election". 16 March 2020.
  16. ^ "A rude reception awaits many Venezuelans fleeing their country". The Economist. Archived from the original on 17 November 2019. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Millions of refugees from Venezuela are straining neighbours' hospitality". The Economist. Archived from the original on 17 November 2019. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  18. ^ Baddour, Dylan (30 January 2019). "Colombia's Radical Plan to Welcome Millions of Venezuelan Migrants". The Atlantic. The Atlantic. Archived from the original on 10 August 2019. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  19. ^ "Colombia gives nearly 1 million Venezuelan migrants legal status and right to work". Archived from the original on 27 May 2021. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  20. ^ a b c Zilbermints, Regina (6 May 2021). "Colombia's protests are threat, test for US". The Hill. Archived from the original on 8 May 2021. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  21. ^ "El "lobby" de Duque en EE. UU. por emplearse luego del 7 de agosto" (in Spanish). El Espectador. 10 April 2022. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  22. ^ "Accord de paix en Colombie : Le gouvernement sape le travail de mémoire". Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  23. ^ "En Amazonie colombienne, les terres autochtones pillées par l'extractivisme". Archived from the original on 18 June 2019. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  24. ^ a b Daniels, Joe Parkin (21 November 2019). "Clashes in Colombia as hundreds of thousands protest against government". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 21 November 2019. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  25. ^ "Colombia protests prompt teargas, curfew and border closures". CNN. 22 November 2019. Archived from the original on 22 November 2019. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  26. ^ "With nationwide strike, Colombia joins South America's season of protest". The Washington Post. 21 November 2019. Archived from the original on 22 November 2019. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  27. ^ "Colombia: Aumentan las protestas". 3 March 2022. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  28. ^ "Uribe y Duque alcanzan niveles históricos de impopularidad - Gobierno - Política - ELTIEMPO.COM". 18 December 2019. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  29. ^ "Thousands march in Colombia in fourth day of protests against tax plan". Reuters. 1 May 2021. Archived from the original on 1 May 2021. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  30. ^ "Wiretapping of drug trafficker reveals vote-buying for Duque on Uribe's orders". colombiareports.com. 4 March 2020. Archived from the original on 18 August 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  31. ^ "Colombia's electoral authority investigating alleged 2018 election fraud". colombiareports.com. 11 August 2020. Archived from the original on 22 August 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  32. ^ "Colombia's 2018 election fraud: Supreme Court opens investigation against Uribe". colombiareports.com. 6 March 2020. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  33. ^ Tiempo, Casa Editorial El. "Maquiavelo en Colombia". Archived from the original on 28 April 2020. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  34. ^ PlanetadeLibros. "Efecto naranja – Iván Duque – Planeta de Libros". Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  35. ^ Nacional, Librería. "Librería nacional – compra tus libros en linea desde cualquier lugar". Librería nacional. Archived from the original on 11 May 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  36. ^ "El BID lanza el libro sobre economía creativa y cultural "La Economía Naranja: una oportunidad infinita" – IADB". www.iadb.org. Archived from the original on 16 July 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  37. ^ "La Vida Desconocida, Familia y Pareja de Iván Duque". Protagonista. Archived from the original on 9 December 2019. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  38. ^ "Bolsonaro recebe presidente da Colômbia no Palácio do Planalto nesta terça-feira". Archived from the original on 24 October 2021. Retrieved 1 November 2021.
  39. ^ "Dsc_7871". 19 October 2021. Archived from the original on 21 October 2021. Retrieved 1 November 2021.
  40. ^ "Presidencia de la republica". Archived from the original on 1 November 2021. Retrieved 1 November 2021.
  41. ^ "Royal Decree 805/2021, 15th September, by which the Collar of the Order of Isabel la Católica is awarded to His Excellency Mr. Iván Duque Márquez, President of Colombia". 16 September 2021. Archived from the original on 16 November 2021. Retrieved 16 November 2021.


External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic Center nominee for President of Colombia
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by President of Colombia
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by President pro tempore of PROSUR
Succeeded by