Juan Manuel Santos is serving his first four-year term as president of the Republic of Colombia. He was elected in June 2010. Santos served three years as defense minister to his predecessor, President Alvaro Uribe. As defense minister, Santos played a role in the 2008 rescue mission that freed Ingrid Betancourt, a former Colombian presidential candidate who was held captive by FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, a Marxist rebel group. Santos is following the footsteps of his great uncle, who was president from 1938 to 1942. The Santos family founded El Tiempo, Colombia’s most influential newspaper, where Santos worked as an editor before serving as foreign trade and treasury minister in previous administrations. Santos graduated from KU in 1973 with degrees in economics and business.