Following in his grandfather's footsteps, University of Kansas graduate Juan Manuel Santos will be sworn in as president of the Republic of Colombia this weekend in Bogota.
Santos, who graduated from KU in 1973 with degrees in economics and business, was elected to a four-year presidential term June 20. Santos ran on a get-tough policy against crime and insurgency.
At 58, Santos has served three years as defense minister to the outgoing president, Alvaro Uribe.
Colombian media outlets reported that Santos was expected to maintain his predecessor’s good relations with the United States, which over the past decade delivered more than $6 billion in military and development aid to help the Latin American ally fight drugs and terrorism.
Santos' grandfather was Colombia's president from 1938 to 1942. The outgoing vice president, Francisco Santos, is his cousin and also is a KU graduate.
Before entering the political arena, Santos was an editor at El Tiempo, an influential Colombian newspaper founded by the Santos family.
Colombia, in the northwestern corner of South America, has a population of more than 45 million people.