On Thursday, Camilo Reyes was named as the new Colombian ambassador to the United States by the President Juan Manuel Santos. The appointment takes places under a cloud of corruption that has affected politicians at national, regional and local levels. Santos told Reyes that he was entrusting him with the mission of “maintaining good international relations in times of national uncertainty”.
The United States has been Colombia’s most important and reliable ally during the last several decades, but that relationship has been recently jeopardized by a dramatic increase in coca cultivation in the Andean nation during Santos’ tenure and his refusal to collaborate with the Americans on eradication of the plantations. Santos emphasized to Reyes on the importance of their relationship with the United States, given their their commitment under former U.S. President Barack Obama to provide $391 million dollars for the implementation of the agreements made with the FARC terrorist group.
He designado al ex canciller Camilo Reyes como embajador de Colombia en Washington. Seguirá afianzado nuestra alianza estratégica con EE UU
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) May 22, 2017
The new ambassador will present himself in Washington on July 21st and will replace Juan Carlos Pinzón, who resigned his position to pursue a candidacy for President of Colombia. Pinzón has been openly critical of the country’s treaty with FARC guerrillas and has put a priority on modifying the treaty as part of his platform.
Camilo Reyes was considered an excellent option to occupy this position because of his background in international relationships and government affairs. He is a graduate from the “Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano” and “Universidad de Los Andes”, two of Colombia’s best universities, and previously served as Minister and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Reys also previously served as the representative of Colombia before the United Nations in Geneva and presided over two conferences for the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA).